Sure, projecting a winner in a presidential election a couple of years in advance is a mug's game. But don't you know that Hillary Clinton has already won the 2016 contest? It's just like 2008 all over again: Hillary can't lose.
Seriously, though, it's obvious Hillary will win, especially when you look at the way she's currently trouncing leading Republicans such as Chris Christie and Rand Paul among young voters. The kids love Hillary, goes this line of thinking, and since they decided the 2012 election and will only ever vote Democratic, all we need to do now is reanimate Aretha Franklin, the Eagles, or one of her other mummified favorite performers for the inauguration.
But such triumphalism about Clinton and the Democratic stranglehold on younger voters is premature, to say the least. While there's no question that the GOP has managed to alienate millennials, there's every reason to believe that top Democrats are doing just about everything they can to squander their currently commanding advantage.
That's the start of my new Daily Beast column, which explains why Dems and their lapdogs in the press are seriously overestimating their stranglehold on the youth vote. As the recent Reason-Rupe poll of millennials showed, millennials are less partisan than older voters and despite huge (and declining) support for Barack Obama at the polls, the kids are getting tired of both parties. They absolutely hate the GOP in its current incarnation, but they are also souring on Team Blue as well. Fully 34 percent of 18-29 year-old voters call themselves true independents, meaning they don't lean toward Republicans or Democrats. That compares to just 11 percent on non-leaning independents among voters 30 years old and up.
The great political achievement of the 21st century so far has been to alienate young voters from the two major parties in the U.S. And the great task for both Democrats and Republicans in 2016 will be to figure out how to woo them back.