“I think it’s the difference between their party and our party,” said Robert M. Duncan, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. “They have a more liberal constituency. And the country is center-right.”
“It comes down to the issues,” Mr. Duncan said. “I honestly believe this: I can’t remember a better contrast for us between our candidate and the Democratic candidates during my lifetime.”
That quote from Mr. Duncan contains the issue that is at the very heart of the 2008 Presidential election, but not in the way Mr. Duncan sees it. Yes, this election does offer the greatest contrast between the two candidates in a very long time, and that will be even more true should Barack Obama be the nominee for the Democrats. But the reaction of the voters will not be what Mr. Duncan expects.
Yes, the country, meaning those people who have voted in Presdiential elections for the last 40 years, do tend to be moderate-right. But that is because the voter turnouts nationwide these last forty years have been relatively low compared to the actual population. A lot of the more left-oriented voters have tended to stay home. Why vote for someone who does not reflect your stand on the issues? Why vote when the two candidates are almost clones of each other?
But this year we may very well see two candidates that are anything but clones of each other. John McCain is, at best, moderate right, what Mr. Duncan thinks America is. But, if the primaries are any indication, Mr. Obama has a very strong appeal with those people who have not been active in recent Presidential cycles. There has been increased voter registration in states where Mr. Obama has campaigned and done well. He has drawn huge crowds and elicited unusual fervor among his supporters, so much so that the media refers to them as Obamaniacs. And there has been significantly higher voter turnout this year than in years past. One statistic on turnout that will need watching is what the turnout among Democrats in Texas is on March 4. According to one article I read, in the 1968 primary over 2 Million Democrats voted, but in the last primary that number was less than one million. A turnout our of 2 Million or more in the Texas Democratic primary on March 4 will bode well for the Democratic Party’s chances of winning in November.
And that kind of turnout will mean victory for Obama in Yexas, an outcome that will all but guarantee his nominstion.
I thoroughly believe that with Obama at the top of the ticket, we will see a record voter-turnout in Novemner. Many potential voters who have stayed home on election day will flock to the polls because they will actually have a choice. And, I think, as I pointed out in my forum post of yesterday, the Obama campaign is already making changes in America. Hus find raising success with small-amount donors is changing that political landscape, and I think his candidacy will force both political parties to throw out all of their old, stale pre-concpetions about American voters.
Obama is campaigning on a message of change and it appears he is already living up to that promise. He is forcing the political establishment in this country to redefine itself. Perhaps he does not have the experience of Mr. McCain or Mrs. Clinton – experience in playing by the old rules. But is that so bad? I think the message from the voters will be overwhelming in favor of change over experience. I think the voters will send a message to the political establishment that they have had enough of politics as usual and want some fresh approaches. And as Mr. Obama has shown in his primary campaign, he is the only one willing to try something new. The other two want to still play by the old rules.
So, if we want change, we need to support and vote for the only candidate who actually practices change – Barack Obama.