Saturday, January 10, 2009

How to use a litmus test to beat Obama

Doug Forrester makes a trenchant observation:

A potential leader who can lead the GOP must be able to appeal to significant numbers of Obama 2008 voters.

Even if Obama is a failure, we can’t depend on Obama 2008 voters to switch unless we give them a Republican that appeals to them.

This doesn’t mean we need to appeal to the far left of the Democratic Party. Those loons would probably vote for Trotsky if we gave them the opportunity. We’ve got to appeal to elements of the Obama 2008 coalition that wavered in supporting him in 2008 or may be vulnerable in 2012.

So before you trot out some ideologically perfect candidate you need to identify which Obama voters he or she will switch in 2012 to give us a majority

Two words: Young Voters. Without their support, Obama would have lost both Indiana and North Carolina, must-win states in any cycle for the GOP. And young voters don't just bring their vote, they also bring their passion, footwork, and annoying viral videos that are so important in shaping a campaign's identity.

Pew Research Center:

In addition to providing Barack Obama and other Democrats with strong support this year, young voters were unusually active in the campaign. According to Pew's post-election survey of voters, fully 28% of young voters in battleground states said they had attended a campaign event, far more than among other age groups.....

According to the exit polls, young voters in key battleground states this year were far more likely to have been contacted by the Obama campaign than by the McCain campaign - and in some states they were more likely than older voters to have been contacted, a significant reversal from past patterns.

The natural temptation would be to connect the dots and choose a younger, sexier candidate like Bobby Jindal or Sarah Palin. But that might not be necessary. If siphoning off young Obama voters isn't possible, there's one force that might minimize their damage: incumbency.

After four years of inhabiting the Oval Office, Barack Obama will have lost some of his minty-fresh zest, and, further, he'll have undoubtedly disappointed the idealistic kiddos after moving to the center (already happening), where mainstream, married Americans reside, with their checkbooks and productive roles in society suddenly gaining salience.

No matter who the GOP nominates, expect the youth's enthusiasm for Obama to have waned, affecting not only those raw votes, but also that raw passion.