It's in Georgia that we may begin to see indications of a natural tightening of the House generic ballot for 2010. And it's not so much the African American vote -- though that's a big deal in Georgia -- as it is the youth vote.So Republicans have to be nursing a tiny spark of hope for 2010 that, lacking Obama's presence on the ticket, the GOTV efforts for the Democrats will be more of a stretch. They may be able to gin up excitement again, but Barack Obama may well have peaked as far as his ability to inspire the sort of excitement that generated November's turnout. By 2010 he will have had to make many decision. And ever decision involves choices. Choices that inevitably disappoint some people. The level of worship and thrills that he's generated to now will fade, even if he remains tremendously popular. And as it fades, it will be harder to get a turnout for all those much less appealing candidates in 2010.
If 18-29 voters are back to 12% of the electorate (where they were in '06) from 17%, that's an automatic 2 points extra for GOP Congressional candidates even if the margin stays at inflated 2008 rates. And without Obama at the top of the ticket, it's hard to see how it could. So Obama reshaped the electorate, but probably did it just for one day and one candidate. And if Jim Martin doesn't exceed expectations with Obama's organizers down in Georgia also suggests that the candidate matters more than the tactics in driving GOTV.
Georgia will be the first test of whether Obama's massive turnout surge proves realigning for other Democrats.
Jim Martin tried to make use of Obama's turnout machine, but clearly the appeal wasn't transferable.
And in the battle of celebrities: Sarah Palin won out over Bill Clinton and Ludacris.
Doesn't it say something about Democratic hopes of exciting Obama's black supporters for a boring white candidate that they were down to hoping that Ludacris could bring the voters to the polls?