As the general election begins to move into full gear, various polls are being released cataloguing which Presidential candidate has “the edge.” Who do women, Latinos, blue-collar workers, the young, the old, the Jews, etc., favor for the White House? There is one difference between Obama and McCain, however, which polls cannot measure. Which candidate is more “hip?” Luckily, there is a clear answer: Barack Obama.
Despite his absence at last night’s BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards, the Obama spirit was strong at the show. Obama, the younger candidate by 29 years, was mentioned in several artists’ award speeches, as well as a showing in fashion. The host of the show, D.L. Hughley who is a prominent African-American actor and comedian, referred to Obama as, “A tall Urkel dude,” (the bespectacled nerd from the '90s sitcom 'Family Matters').
Additionally, MTV recently announced that it will now accept political ads. Despite its past “Choose or Lose” get out the vote campaign, MTV has always declined political advertising. This reversal in policy will certainly favor Obama, given his popularity with young people.
Polls that slice and dice the American electorate can be useful in showing which groups support a particular candidate. However, what truly matters in November is who among these groups vote. If Obama is able to succeed in bringing out African-American voters in the South and motivate the generally apathetic young, he will have a huge advantage over McCain in November.