Were Dean’s Young People Just Immature and Unreliable?

Salon has an article criticizing Dean’s “Internet strategy,” and it causes me to wonder if, perhaps, the young demographic of his campaign supporters was his downfall. Maybe young people just aren’t reliable. Maybe the younger folks who went to the Iowa caucuses for the first time were too easily persuaded to change their minds, lacking the confidence of maturity. Or maybe they have that set of ideas about commitments that I’ve seen with younger people in regard to accepting social invitations: “Yes” doesn’t mean “Yes, I will be there” but “Yes, if I don’t come up with something better to do, I might come.” Maybe the Dean “hard numbers” in Iowa were from younger people for whom “Yes, I’ll support Dean and go to the caucus” really meant “Yes, I’ll support Dean and go to the caucus if I don’t have anything better to do.”

Or maybe Dean has just not been doing very well as a candidate in the last couple weeks, as it seems to me. Until the beginning of the year, I was strongly behind Dean, but since then he’s seemed to me to be less articulate, less able to command attention with cogent, well-reasoned answers to the questions put to him.