The Great Realignment 2010: McCain Voter Plans to Vote Republican; Obama Voter Plans to Vote Democratic

Kirk Johnson of the New York Times reports on the political upheaval among youth in Colorado, where

The college vote is up for grabs this year — to an extent that would have seemed unlikely two years ago, when a generation of young people seemed to swoon over Barack Obama .

The economy, Johnson writes, has eroded college students’ identification as Democrats. How much? “The jury is still out,”an expert tells him.

But what do the students say? 

Sarah Buck, 21, an Obama supporter in 2008, said she planned to vote mainly for Democrats again this fall, even though she said she did not call herself a Democrat. She still believes in Mr. Obama and his agenda and thinks electing more Democrats generally supports the president.

“I’m voting the same way for support at the top,” said Ms. Buck, a communication studies major.

Sarah Hutt, 21, a double major in Spanish and business, said she would vote Republican, as she did in 2008, but for broader reasons. Then, she said, her opposition to abortion nudged her toward supporting Mr. McCain. This time, it is about economics.

“I’m definitely going to float more toward the Republican spectrum of things,” Ms. Hutt said.

So an Obama supporter of 2008 will vote Democratic in 2010 to support Obama. But the McCain voter of 2008 will vote Republican this year for different reasons than in 2010. Those fickle young people! Who can keep up with their mercurial loyalties?