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I’ll make two predictions about this election.  One I’m sure about; the other, not so much.

 

Not Sure: This could be a change election like 1960, 1968, 1980 or 1994 – with the impact felt for decades.

 

Sure: The Democratic Party is growing increasingly anti-corporate.

 

Only one thing can keep 2008 from being a watershed: Barack Obama fails to reassure people that they can trust him.  Especially, obviously, white people.

 

He is at risk now, and he has to deal with his Wright and “bitter” problems.  Or he will go the route of Dukakis, Gore and Kerry – being defined early on by the Republicans as unacceptable to Middle America.

 

If he succeeds, the forces he and Hillary Clinton have set loose will fundamentally change politics nationally and in North Carolina.

 

Look at what’s happening here: Nearly 200,000 new voters have registered.  Most are Democrats.  They are younger, more liberal, change-oriented and heavily minority.  The primary next week may bring out 800,000 more voters than four years ago.  That’s two or three times the turnout four years ago.  Numbers like that will overwhelm the Republicans this fall.

 

And studies show that if young people and new voters vote in their first election, they keep voting.

 

Regardless, businesses are in for a rough ride in North Carolina.  You can tell that by listening to the candidates’ rhetoric.  What they say mirrors what their polls hear from voters.

 

Clinton and Obama both beat up on oil companies, drug companies, lending companies and insurance companies.  Moore and Perdue promise to stand up for you against the corporations.

 

This is a long-way from the pro-business rhetoric and policies of Democrats like Jim Hunt and Bill Clinton.  That was so the nineties; this is a new day. 

 

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