At Stateline.org, Louis Jacobsen’s “Out There” column has this
In a normal election year, the two precincts serving the bulk of students at California University of Pennsylvania attract a total of about 400 voters, according to election watchers here. But on Election Day 2008, that number more than quadrupled to a combined total of more than 1,700. And in those precincts, Obama crushed Republican nominee John McCain by margins of between 2 to1 and 3 to1.
Obama managed to sweep the 18-to-29 vote in some of the most deeply Republican states in the union. They include not just North Dakota but also Alabama (50 percent), Kansas (51), Kentucky (51), Mississippi (56), South Carolina (55), Tennessee (55) and Texas (54).
Should the GOP be worried? Sure. But note,
Overall, the trendlines for young voters do not look good for the GOP. As political journalist Ron Brownstein has noted, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry carried 54 percent of voters younger than 30. In the 2006 midterms, 60 percent voted Democratic in House races. This year, Obama trounced McCain among voters under 30 by a 2-to-1 margin.
As some contacted by Jacobson admitted, the GOP needs to be concerned that their message is not getting across (or, perhaps, getting lost in the static?) But is this insurmountable? No. He noted these things:
1. Many Republican candidates in red states did well on Election Day. We have no further to look than Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan, whose district went for Obama.
2. State Democratic parties are not always able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
3. Are Democrats winning future loyalists to the party as a whole, or are young newcomers mostly attracted to the new president?
Time will tell.