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Clinton Seeks to Box Obama into Cultural Corner

By Alec MacGillis
NASHUA, N.H. -- As Hillary Clinton looks to rebound in New Hampshire, it appears one part of her strategy will be to cast Barack Obama as the favorite of yuppie elites who aren't looking for experienced leadership so much as they are wanting to ride a trend or indulge a sentiment.

Speaking to several hundred supporters in an airport hangar in Nashua, N.H. today, Clinton was as explicit on this score as she's ever been, suggesting that those supporting Obama were not entirely serious about their deliberations.

"I'm well aware that New Hampshire, and America, has a lot of voters who don't think they need a president right now, they're doing fine, they're well educated," she said. "So for them this election isn't about 'me and my family' it's about, you know, 'how I feel' and 'what I hope for.' And that's great, but there are more people in New Hampshire who need a president who will be your champion."

It is true that polls, and exit polls Thursday night in Iowa, have shown Obama to do better among higher-earning and better-educated voters, while Clinton's strength is with the middle and working class. There is one downside for Clinton, though, in drawing attention to this difference: New Hampshire has in recent years undergone a substantial demographic turnover, with more than 200,000 new eligible voters in the state since 2000, nearly a quarter of the the total number -- and most of them, on average, higher-earning and better-educated than those who have died or left the state since 2000.

Whether or not they feel they need a president is unclear, but one thing is for sure: many of them will be voting next week, with New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner now predicting a record turnout of 500,000 on January 8.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 4, 2008; 6:39 PM ET
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