HILLARY THE REALIGNER. My column for the Baltimore Sun this week is about unmarried women and how pivotal they will be to the Democrats' electoral prospects. I have taken to likening them to what evangelicals are to the GOP.

A couple months ago, Hillary Clinton's national campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, gave a speech at my university, and in a (public) event before the speech with a small group of students he said very frankly that they will be targeting women under 35. Some of these women are married, of course, but many are not; in any case, they tend to be undermobilized. And, given that significant mobilization of new voters is a necessary condition to any realignment, I am led to ask this question: Is Hillary -- despite the notion that she takes the Democrats backwards and keeps the country mired in generational culture wars -- actually the Democrat most likely to engender (yes, pun intended) a realignment?

If she were not Hillary, of course, as the most centrist candidate among the top three Democrats it would be easy to argue that Clinton is the least of the trio to truly expand the electorate; and, of course, there are "new mobilization" claims to be made on behalf of Barack Obama (minorities) and John Edwards (white working-class voters). I'm sure Garance has some strong opinions about the matter, but would be curious what TAPPED readers think.

--Tom Schaller

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