Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prophets Are Seldom Believed in Their Own Land

Nino Saviano, a North Carolina-based Republican political strategist, has a column in today's Asheville Citizen-Times with a warning headline: "GOP had better pay more attention to young voters." (Hat-tip: The Political Junkies)

Saviano is reading the right (that is, the left) tea-leaves ... that young voters are going to turn out in large numbers for Obama and, given the dismal baggage the label "Republican" carries with it, there's a very good chance that those young voters are going to vote straight Democratic tickets.

Writes Saviano,
With Obama as the Democratic nominee and [Ron] Paul out of the race, the youth vote in the November general election may be the most important group vote for the Tar Heel State. While no youth polls exist specifically for North Carolina, nationally Obama claims more than 50 percent support among the young, while McCain claims just above 35 percent.

Since 1992, split-ticket voting by some voter groups has characterized North Carolina and has led to the election of Republicans for president and U.S. senator on one hand, and a Democratic governor and state assembly on the other. In the 2004 election, voters in the 30-44 age group and self-identified suburbanites led the key split-ticket voting.

In November, the impact of a straight-party voting by the young may overshadow any traditional split-ticket voting by any other group. An unusually energizing presidential contest may result in a strong youth vote showing and young voters opting for a straight-party vote from president on downward. This may surprise many North Carolina candidates -- from congressional to statewide and legislative races, to county, city and school board races.

What he said.

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