Wan­der­ing vot­ers

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Imag­ine sup­port­ing Demo­cratic Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton for pres­i­dent and Repub­li­can Sen. John McCain as vice pres­i­dent. OK, that might be a bit far­fetched.

Still, the Na­tional Jour­nal Group an­nounced Nov. 20 the re­lease of the 2008 edi­tion of The Al­manac of Amer­i­can Pol­i­tics,” or what Ge­orge Will calls “the bi­ble of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.” In the in­tro­duc­tion, po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst and com­men­ta­tor Michael Barone ar­gues that the coun­try has en­tered a pe­riod of “open-field pol­i­tics,” where vot­ers are less per­ma­nently at­tached to one can­di­date or party.

As a re­sult, he fore­sees sur­prises in store for the 2008 pres­i­den­tial and con­gres­sional elec­tions.

“We seem to be en­ter­ing a new pe­riod in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics,” Mr. Barone ex­plains, “a time when there are no per­ma­nent al­liances, when new lead­ers arise with new strate­gies and tac­tics, when the vot­ers, in­stead of form­ing them­selves into two co­her­ent and co­he­sive armies, wan­der about the field, at­tach­ing them­selves to one band and then an­other, with no clear lines of bat­tle and no land-

marks to rally be­side.”

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