The fact that big turnout seems to have powered Obama to his big win strikes me as perhaps more significant than his margin of victory as such. Obama’s message of “bringing people together” to create “change” is often castigated by his critics as a “kumbaya schtick” but it looks like something very different whenever he can deliver on promises to mobilize new people and bring them into the process. At the end of the day, politicians respond to facts on the ground. A presidential candidate who can change the facts on the ground by bringing new people into the process can carry a lot of supporters on his coattails. A president who can organize people at the grassroots in support of his agenda could get amazing things done.
Could Obama really do that? Well, it’s hard to know for sure. But it does fit his background as a community organizer, and it does fit his results in Iowa and South Carolina.