Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Dean's dirty tricks in Iowa:
What is going on with Howard Dean's presidential campaign? According to the Dick Gephardt campaign yesterday, there are some serious dirty tricks going on. Here is Gephardt's latest press release:
Campaign Manager, Steve Murphy, today released the following comment on Dean dirty tricks in Iowa: "We have learned that the pattern of dishonesty and deception in the Dean campaign has continued. Last week, two Dean spies were fired after they were caught going into another campaign office deceitfully seeking information about the rival campaign. I spoke with you last week as well about information that we had about the Dean campaign continuing their efforts to have non-Iowans participate in next Monday's caucus. Today, that pattern has continued.
Yesterday, two Dean staff members came to a Gephardt campaign office in Council Bluffs with the intention of collecting campaign information. They were identified by David and Christopher Hoagland who were volunteering at the Gephardt campaign office at the time. We have also learned that Dean staff members who have come in from out of state attended the Louisa County Democratic Party central committee meeting last night claiming to be residents of the area. The mayor of Columbus City, Frank Best, was there and overheard comments that should be cause for concern for all of us. It should be noted, that Frank Best is not a supporter of Dick Gephardt.
Apparently one of the Dean volunteers said to a member of the central committee: 'You all are going to be really surprised on caucus night because a lot of people who show up are not going to be on your list.'
Now, we all want to expand voter turnout and get as many folks to precinct locations as possible, but the tone of this statement and the actions of the Dean campaign suggest that this is more than an aggressive get out the vote effort. This is a get-out-the-out-of-stater-Dean-supporter vote effort. At best this does not do justice to the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses. At worst, and Dean campaign staff needs to know this, this is voter fraud punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $7,500 fine.
It is time that the Dean campaign took steps to stop the continued pattern of dishonesty. Iowans certainly deserve better, and so does the Democratic Party. Nothing less than the election of the President of the United States is at stake."
Nader ramps up:
Rejuvenating is the only word I can use to describe Ralph Nader's amazing speech at the "Choosing an Independent President" conference in Bedford on Sunday. Here is the only press on the event so far: ["Independents look ahead to breaking 2-party system"]. The Boston Phoenix was also there but it doesn't publish until tomorrow. I hope to post some of the choice lines from the speech later this week when I have more time. Ralph's nephew, Tarek Milleron - yeah, that quiet guy with the earpiece on the campaign trail in 2000 - has written a column for Common Dreams on why Nader should run again: ["Super Rallies? No. If Nader Runs, This Will Be the Year of the Elks Club"].

... Nader would siphon Democratic votes. This is perhaps a measurable cost, but I challenge you to show me a party-line Democrat who anticipates voting for Nader in 2004. His potential Democratic vote has all but dried up. (In the unlikely event that Lieberman gets the nomination, all bets are off.) In contrast, the roughly 675,000 registered Republicans (according to exit poll data; Nader's Democratic voters numbered roughly 1.1 million) who voted for Nader in 2000 would be just as likely to vote for him again in 2004. If they are upset over Bush's belligerence, ballooning deficit and attack on civil liberties, more Republicans may vote for Nader in 2004. Furthermore, as an independent, Nader would be likely to increase his Republican vote - the Green label was probably an impediment for some Republicans in 2000. It is therefore implausible that Nader would draw more Democratic than Republican votes in 2004.
Extremely good point. In New Hampshire, for example, Nader received thousands of Republican votes and received the endorsement of seven municipal Republicans. According to CNN's exit polls, Nader garnered 1 percent of the Democratic vote in New Hampshire, while 6 percent of Democrats voted for Bush. Eh, who was the spoiler? In Florida, the results were similar, with Nader receiving 1 percent of the votes of registered Democrats, with 13 percent casting votes for Bush. Again, who was the spoiler? Nader has an exploratory site, too: [""].

Other stuff:
Kuttner has some pretty good analysis here: ["A Democratic cliffhanger?"]. I don't think there will be a brokered convention but there could be. More than likely, the deal making will be done months before in order to avoid a brokered convention.
Dean and Kerry attack "Republican" Clark: ["Clark draws fire from foes as non-Democrat"].
More crybaby Dean: ["Dean rips media, Wash. politicians"].
Sharpton's in South Carolina: ["Challenged by his past, Sharpton makes changes, strides"]
Dennis Kucinich gets written up in the Village Voice: ["The Dennis Kucinich Polka"].

The latest polls
In Iowa, Zogby posted new numbers early this morning: Howard Dean at 24 percent, Dick Gephardt and John Kerry tied at 21 percent, and John Edwards at 15 percent.
The latest New Hampshire numbers from RKM Research and Communication posted in the Boston Herald this morning show Wesley Clark creeping up on Dean: Dean 29 percent, Clark at 20 percent, Kerry at 15 percent, Joe Lieberman at 7 percent, and John Edwards at 5 percent.
New numbers from ARG: Dean has 34 percent, Clark comes in at 20 percent, Kerry slips down to 11 percent, with Lieberman at 9 percent. Undecideds make up 18 percent.
Survey USA show similar results in New Hampshire: Dean at 35 percent, Clark at 26 percent, Kerry with 13 percent, Lieberman at 9 percent, and Edwards coming in with 6 percent.
In Missouri, Survey USA show a solid position for Gephardt in his home state: Gephardt 37 percent, Dean with 19 percent, Clark with 15 percent, Kerry at 6 percent, with Lieberman and Edwards at 5 percent. Undecideds make up 6 percent.
Down in Arizona, Survey USA finds a two-way race: Clark catapulting into the lead with 39 percent, Dean with 32 percent, Lieberman at 8 percent, and Kerry with 5.
Marist University has a new poll out of New York showing gains by Howard Dean but slippage by most other candidates: Dean 26 percent, Lieberman down four to 12 percent, Clark down four to 10 percent, the Rev. Al Sharpton down three to 8 percent, John Kerry down two to 6 percent, and Dick Gephardt down four to 6 percent. Undecideds make up 26 percent.
In Maryland, Potomac, Inc. released a new poll showing Dean with a strong primary lead: Dean at 25 percent, Clark with 12 percent, Lieberman in at 10 percent, Gephardt with 8 percent, and Kerry at 6 percent, with undecideds making up 25 percent. In a general election, Dean has a slim lead against Bush, 47 to 43, with 9 percent undecided. Gore won Maryland 57 to 40, with Nader getting 3 percent.
Probolsky Research released a Bush vs. Dean poll in California which showed Bush in a strong position: Bush with 50.9 percent vs. Dean with 35.4 percent. 10 percent were not sure while 3.7 percent of respondents would choose another candidate.