We took another informal, admittedly unscientific poll recently, of friends, acquaintances, and their offspring. The sampling included a great range of thirty-somethings who live in all parts of the country and a few college students as well as their parents. A few of the parents are "East Coast Liberals," but most of them are conservative business and professional people, and not a few are Southern Christian fundamentalists.
Here's the surprise: No one under the age of forty is planning on voting for McCain. With one exception all of them are going to vote (or have already voted where early voting is available) for Obama.
The one exception, a young man from the Mid-South, is going to for for McCain-Palin, because "She's hot." (Sorry, folks, it's true....his vote counts just as much as yours does.) Of course this is far from a scientific statistical sampling, and much can still happen in the next week, but the momentum does seem to be on the Obama side.
What does all this mean for the Republicans? There's some evidence that the Republican--Fundamentalist marriage is on the rocks and may soon be as dead as the Reverend Falwell. And there's talk of Palin's "going rogue," and positioning herself for a leadership role in the aftermath of this year's projected loss.
Another possibility: Our poll also showed a number of disillusioned conservatives planning to vote Libertarian this year, to protest the Republican's failure to scale back the size of government despite all their rhetoric. Perhaps, as in the past, the emergence of a credible third force will lead the "out party," in this case the Republicans, to incorporate that party's agenda into its own. If that happens, and if the boys back East don't find a way to blame their loss this year on her, look to Palin to play a major role.