31 January 2008

age & cohort effects & me

in the world that i daily interact with -- you know, the one occupied by people 20-30 years old, with lefty politics, from san francisco, or who went to swarthmore -- barack obama is winning the california primary race in a landslide. everybody, but everybody, seems to be supporting him. nori's house has cute handmade signs in the front window (spied from the N the other day); most of my personal edwards contingent has turned obama despite health care worries. there's all this talk about inspiration and change, all these comparisons to bobby kennedy.

then last week i went to a dinner party in massachusetts where i was the youngest person by about a quarter century, and it was a den of clinton triumphalism. when i said that obama could win the CA primary, they were shocked. as it turned out, they had a right to be. (damn those older and wiser people, with their 'knowing how things really are'!) what looks like an obama landslide from my perspective is a decisive clinton victory in the polls.

i couldn't find any poll results by age for california, but i've heard tell that the exit polling was dramatically skewed by age in iowa (where obama won).

jarrod said a smart thing the other night when we were talking about primary votes (this is a bad paraphrase despite the quotation marks): "if you look at obama's positions, they're like, 'education is our future, our top priority, we're going to make it right.' if you look at clinton, she says, 'education is so important that we have to spend eleven billion dollars like this.'" i don't really know how that difference makes jarrod feel, but it makes me exceptionally jumpy. like about six other americans, i like policy wonks. i am at home with someone who does her homework.

all that said, though, with edwards out i'm going to go with the candidate who hasn't royally fucked up on foreign policy (i forgive you, i would vote for you in november, but you royally fucked up. admit it.) and who has the potential to get young people (remember? the most liberal part of the electorate? yeah, those guys.) engaged with politics again. i swear it's not just peer pressure.