Thursday, November 27, 2003

Kerry to mortage house?
One has to wonder if this is good money after bad: ["House, Painting and Wife Join in Kerry Financing"]. Although, it might be interesting if the wife starts making independent expenditure ads. What could she say? "My husband is a nice guy ... I love him ... don't attack my husband" ... etc.? All of this while he attempts to spring out of Iowa: ["Seeing Iowa as springboard, Kerry mounts a new push"]. However, what would happen if realizing he couldn't win, he just up and quit. Would anyone think any less of him? Less than they already think of him? Where would his support go? Interesting to wonder about.

Ending the Hillary talk ...
Here's hoping all the Draft Hillary nonsense will finally end already: ["Hillary says won't run now, maybe 2008"]. Although, I bet the speculation will still be on the horizon no matter how many times she keeps telling people she isn't running.

Sharpton jumps to second in South Carolina ... more polls
The Feldman Group released a poll yesterday showing the Rev. Al Sharpton in second place in South Carolina. John Edwards has also jumped back up to first: Edwards 17 percent, Sharpton 12 percent, Howard Dean at 11 percent, Wesley Clark falls to 10 percent, Joe Lieberman has 9 percent, and Dick Gephardt has 8 percent.
The day before, WTOP in D.C. reported results for the four candidates who are participating in the D.C. primary, a week before Iowa: Dean 45 percent, Shaprton at 11 percent, Carole Moseley Braun has 8 percent, and Dennis Kucinich with 4 percent.
Also Tuesday, Mason-Dixon released a poll from Florida: Lieberman 21 percent, Dean at 17 percent, Clark with 14 percent, and Gephardt has 11 percent.

Even though these polls don't mean anything and there are huge undecided numbers - voters who could go any of the candidates by each state's primary election day - the last few weeks of state-by-state polling numbers are revealing some interesting findings.
The first is that Kerry is in serious trouble. He is third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, and nowhere anywhere else. Now maybe the millions he plans on pumping into his campaign can help him. But it doesn't look good.
Second, Clark, who quickly became the media darling, has not caught on with the voters. He was supposed to sweep in and knock Dean off the perch but hasn't been able to do much.
Third, with the frontloading of the primaries and the emphasis on money in politics, unless something serious happens, Dean is on the verge of clinching the Democratic nomination very quickly. He is showing surprisingly good positions outside of New England. I personally don't think he can beat Bush without a southerner or Midwesterner in the VP slot. And even then, it is still going to be hard for Dean to win. The popular invasion of Iraq and the gay civil union law will hang over Dean like an anvil in a lifeboat. Most people - especially progressives and liberal Democrats - don't realize that the most of the nation is conservative to moderate - not moderate to liberal. Look at the sea of red states Bush won. And it wasn't computer vote rigging either that gave the election to Bush. He won because people didn't like Gore. Sure, Bill Clinton was able to win twice but that is only because he was a moderate to conservative Democrat who had Ross Perot peeling off moderate to conservative votes from Bush 41 and Bob Dole. It is frustrating that no one realizes these things. Anyhow, back to Dean. No one else has come forward with enough clout to become the anti-Dean candidate - yet. And if Dean becomes the nominee and he loses to Bush there will only be one person to blame: DNC chairman Terry McAulliffe who, once again, set up the Democrats to lose by creating a primary process that ended so quickly that voters didn't get enough of a chance to really analyze the potential candidates.
Lastly, most political experts believe that Gephardt will emerge as the anti-Dean candidate. On trade and other issues important to working folks - and to beating Bush [!] - Gephardt would probably be a stronger Democratic nominee. As an aside, it should be noted that while the job situation in many swing states could cripple Bush ["Trade War Hurts The Dollar"] - this analysis is completely wrong BTW - he has started to put up some trade barriers to some imports, especially from China ["Sino-US trade friction unlikely to trigger trade war"]. However, in order for Gephardt to become the anti-Dean, he has to elevate his position. Gephardt's current numbers in states he has to win - or should be doing well in - are shockingly low at this point in the process. The pro-union, working folks candidate cannot be fifth in Pennsylvania, sixth in South Carolina, etc. and expect to be toe-to-toe with Dean or even win the Democratic nomination.

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