This from USAToday:
Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucus date is either a gut punch or a shot of adrenaline to presidential candidates who are courting young voters, depending on whom you ask.
The date â€” 11 days earlier than first anticipated and the earliest in state history â€” means that most Iowa college students will still be soaking up holiday break when the caucuses kick into gear.
Some observers believe that’s bad news because many of those students have already registered to vote in the cities where their schools are located and are less likely to make the effort to caucus once they are home.
But others say the change is a political windfall that will scatter potentially thousands of young voters into virtually every area of the state, where they can advocate for their preferred candidate.
“Pretty much all the students will be back in their home communities on that day, and given the way the caucus works, we think that’s a plus for us,” said David Plouffe, the presidential campaign manager for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a Democrat.
Because voters are able to register as they enter the caucus events, the need to change their registration isn’t a big roadblock, he added.
I think that’s Obama’s best bet. The college voters are probably simultaneously the most educated and the most ignorant block of voters to tap into, perfect for Obama! Then again, Stephen Colbert may be stealing his college thunder.
On another note, which probably doesn’t include most college students, Obama is having “Spiritual Reawakenings” to continue courting Christian voters. He’s probably using religion more than any other candidate, even the Republicans playing to a socially conservative constituency:
CHARLESTON, S.C. — As a man not only of God but of politics, the Rev. Joe Darby is an outspoken observer of the campaign scene. Reclining in his cluttered office at Morris Brown AME Church here, he witnesses the union between the pulpit and the polls.
“Politics does come down to some degree of emotion . . . ,” says Darby, one of this state’s most prominent African American preachers, whose church is a magnet for Democratic presidential hopefuls. “The Democratic Party is just catching up to that. It’s been nauseatingly safe in recent years.”
As if from Darby’s mouth to Sen. Barack Obama’s ears, the Democratic presidential candidate from Illinois — hoping his campaign can recapture some of that old-time religious fervor — launched a three-city gospel concert series over the weekend across the state, in North Charleston, Greenwood and Columbia. Although Obama did not attend the “Embrace the Change” series in person (instead campaigning in Iowa), he was here in spirit, appearing by video screen and sending out his surrogates, such as pastor Hezekiah Walker and singer Beverly Crawford.
Has he no shame in mixing church and politics? If a Republican were campaigning this much from church the media would have a field day.