Paul Loeb at HuffPo has the commentary. What if what Obama is galvanizing in the youth vote ould cement itself into a long-term Democratic majority?

Commentators are talking, and rightly so, about how young voters are flocking to Barack Obama. Their overwhelming support gave Obama his Iowa margin, kept him just a few points behind in New Hampshire and Nevada, and contributed to his massive South Carolina victory. Young voters haven’t always turned out historically, but they’re responding to Obama’s message, and together with his equally massive support from African Americans and strong appeal to independents, their passionate enthusiasm could help him expand the Democratic base enough not only to win in November, but to win decisively.

Obama also offers the chance to make this new generation part of an enduring Democratic coalition — because once young voters support a particular party a few times in a row, they’re likely to gravitate toward that party for the rest of their lives.

Loeb cites historical precedent and studies showing this youth vote is important especially when it is sustained support for the same party over time.

What would happen if Hillary gets the nomination?

But if Hillary Clinton is nominated, this momentum will likely crumble. The young women and men who’ve been flooding the Democratic primaries and caucuses will feel betrayed by a candidate who’s just finished doing her best to destroy the person they’ve invested their hopes in. And as a result, they may simply stay home. It’s not just that Hillary is running against Obama. That would be fine. It’s that she and Bill and their surrogates have relentlessly assaulted Obama’s character, in a scorched-earth style worthy of Karl Rove.

Those are big stakes and the chips are all in the middle. I’ll tell you like I tell my buddies who have made it to the late stage of a poker tournament: Don’t fuck it up!

I think Loeb is on to something, and it might well be the reason for all the excitement. Imagine 4 years ago we were talking about a “permanent Democrat majority”. Yeah, I’da laughed too. Obama has the goods. He needs to get the nomination and we need to get about turning that page…

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