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Still Over – Very Over

I’m not usually one to brag. This whole blog thang isn’t about me, after all, but about the ideas and perspective I think need to come into our discussion about the changing world around us. There are different ways of looking at things that can make our lives much simpler and understandable, if we only give them a chance.

I can’t help but get a good righteous indignation going, however, when I see people who are highly paid that just aren’t particularly good at their jobs. If I’m sure that a rank amateur like me can do a better job it’s time for change. And our Pundit Class is so pitifully bad right now that even li’l ol’ me has been able to school them.

There’s been a lot of hoopla, teevee airtime, and expenditures of campaign cash since I said that the race for the Democratic nomination was over. That was after the Wisconsin primary, an event that seems incredibly long ago. What’s happened since then?

We had primaries in Rhode Island and Vermont that canceled each other out, a primary and caucus in Texas that even CNN has declared was a net tie (though Obama got more delegates from it) and a primary in Ohio where Clinton gave Obama a good 10 point thumping. What was there to say about this? All that anyone talked about was the Ohio result, largely because the next race was in the state next door. The Pundit Class told us it was a race, nevermind that Cinton had to win very big to have a chance.

So we went on to Pennsylvania, where Obama had a 9 point loss. More heat and more invective came from the bobbing heads, who kept saying things like, “Why can’t Obama close the deal?” Why couldn’t he? “What effect is Rev. Wright having?” Wow, it must be big, right?

Next up was North Carolina and Indiana where Obama had a big win and a narrow loss. Everyone now agrees it’s over, even Tim Russert. What changed?

The simple answer is that all of this noise was about two states that are right next to each other, Pennsylvania and Ohio. They have similar demographics and similar histories as former manufacturing states struggling to cope. They’re also both rather old, with Pennsylvania in particular the fifth oldest state by median age. Did any of this get the media’s attention?

I have to give CNN credit for producing a handy graph show that among people under 65 years old, Obama won Indiana 65-35. Seniors went for Clinton heavily, bringing it back to just over even. That goes back to my central thesis on this race, which is that this election is about generational change. Nothing else even comes close to mattering. Now that we know the two remaining candidates will have a 24 year age gap, the differences will be more stark. Perhaps even obvious enough that the Pundit Class will get it.

Nah, I’m kidding. They’re just armchair generals, always fighting the last election. They’ll talk about “effete snobs” and things like that.

Meanwhile, there’s been at least some chattering about an issue that I first identified in Texas, where I showed that Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” may have given Clinton whatever she had to crow about there. In Indiana, the 1.27M votes were, by an exit poll, about 10% cast by Republicans (127k). A survey of them showed that of the 54% who voted for Clinton (68k) about 60% planned to vote for McCain in the fall (41k). Since the election was decided by 16k votes, is it possible that Limbaugh’s mischief decided Indiana? It certainly was. Thankfully, the Washington Post picked this up so it’s not just me this time, even if they are a few elections behind in finding evidence of a real story.

But that’s all behind us now. It appears to actually be over, after all. It’s time to talk generational change now that my central thesis has some electoral weight behind it. Do you think any of those who get paid to do this will pick up on it, or will they manufacture an issue that they like better (secret muslim)? Yeah, me, too. Sigh.

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