Conventional wisdom says the 15 million first-time voters who pushed President Obama to his 2008 victory won't turn out for this year's midterm elections. But $50 million say they will. That's the gamble the Democratic Party is making: Instead of focusing on turning out the base, traditionally the only people who vote in midterm elections, Dems are pouring money into efforts to get the largely young and minority 2008 first-time voters back to the polls.
It's a risky strategy, the Washington Post reports: Not only is the name Obama not on the ballot, but 2008's enthusiasm has given way to a bitter, disappointed electorate. "Those voters just aren't going to be there this time," a GOP spokesman scoffed, and many Dems agree. "I think they're going to come in for a very rude awakening" when election results roll in Nov. 3, said a longtime Democratic organizer.