Sunday, May 11, 2008

Frank Rich on the 2008 race

Frank Rich with a great column today, "Party Like It’s 2008," explaining at great length why this race has confounded the pundits and is unlike previous elections. This paragraph in particular was striking:
But this isn’t 2004, and the fixation on that one demographic in the Clinton-Obama contest has obscured the big picture. The rise in black voters and young voters of all races in Democratic primaries is re-weighting the electorate. Look, for instance, at Ohio, the crucial swing state that Mr. Kerry lost by 119,000 votes four years ago. This year black voters accounted for 18 percent of the state’s Democratic primary voters, up from 14 percent in 2004, an increase of some 230,000 voters out of an overall turnout leap of roughly a million. Voters under 30 (up by some 245,000 voters) accounted for 16 percent, up from 9 in 2004. Those younger Ohio voters even showed up in larger numbers than the perennially reliable over-65 crowd. (emphasis added)
There's more there worth a read today. It's a fresh, smart take on the undercurrents in the 2008 race that have been underestimated by the Clinton campaign.