Wednesday, February 25, 2004

DEBUNKING THE MYTH: Ralph Nader didn't cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

On Jan. 31, I posted an opinion piece about whether or not Ralph Nader should consider a run in 2004: ["Let Ralph decide"]. In the analysis, I made the case, that through first hand experience on the ground in New Hampshire running the field organization and extensive exit polling, Nader did not cost Gore the state. I also posted some data from Florida challenging the assertion that Nader's candidacy may have cost Gore that state.
Since the Jan. 31 post, Nader has announced that he will run for president again and the media and Democrats are attacking him. Smartly, Nader has used some of the information on this site to defend himself and his effort in 2000. And there is a debate raging on the Web as to whether or not this information is accurate or not.
Earlier today, Alex Beam wrote an interesting column in the Boston Globe challenging the mantra and pointing out that Pat Buchanan's candidacy may have weakened George W. Bush's position in some states: ["Ralph Nader: the odd man out again?"]. Beam only mentions Florida - with Buchanan's 17,000 votes that may have gone to Bush had "Pitchfork" Pat not been in the race. Beam doesn't mention, however, that Buchanan's numbers may have cost Bush the states of Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
In turn, the Boston Phoenix's Dan Kennedy, on his MediaLog, posted the article and then was critical of the data: ["Measuring the Buchanan effect"]. Kennedy does some "quickie analysis" and says Beam gets it wrong, and points to some NYT "news analysis" by David Rosenbaum: ["Relax, Nader Tells Democrats, but the Math Says Otherwise"].
In his "analysis," Rosenbaum uses national exit poll data to make his assumptions:
But based on who voted for him four years ago, [Nader's] analysis looks shaky. Voters leaving polling places in 2000 were asked by Voter News Service, a consortium of television networks and The Associated Press, how they would have voted if George W. Bush and Al Gore had been the only candidates on the ballot. Among Nader voters, 45 percent said they would have voted for Mr. Gore, 27 percent said they would have voted for Mr. Bush, and the rest said they would not have voted.
Well, Nader's analysis - which is also mine - isn't "shaky" at all, as I will show in this post.
Rosenbaum continues:
In Florida, Mr. Nader received 97,488 votes, 1.6 percent of the total, and Mr. Bush carried the state by 537 votes. In New Hampshire, Mr. Nader won 22,198 votes, 3.9 percent of the total, and Mr. Bush carried the state by 7,211 votes. Had Mr. Gore won in either state, he would have become president. Mr. Nader said at the Press Club that surveys of voters leaving the polls showed he had received more Republican votes than Democratic votes in New Hampshire in 2000. That is true. New Hampshire has 30 percent more registered Republicans than registered Democrats.
Rosenbaum is right on the New Hampshire registration, which in 2000 broke down this way: Republican - 265,679, Democrats - 197,816, and Undeclared - 274,927. But that has nothing to do with the point about whether Nader being in the race cost Gore. Yes, there are more Republicans in New Hampshire, and yeah, independents trend conservative, so why would they vote for Gore? They wouldn't and Rosenbaum is making my case without knowing it. Voter registration in the state has nothing to do with whether Nader cost Gore the state.
However, if reporters are going to figure with figures, they should use the correct figures, right? Well, Rosenbaum isn't using the correct figures. He is comparing national exit poll data and cross-referencing them with state ballot returns. He should have used individual state exit polls from both New Hampshire and Florida and cross-referenced them with returns from New Hampshire and Florida. Had Rosenbaum done this, he would see that Nader didn't cost Gore these states and his "news analysis" wouldn't achieve its outcome - to attack Nader.
If Rosenbaum had looked at the exit polling from both of these states, here is what he would have found:

In New Hampshire, CNN's exit polling showed Nader taking more votes from Republicans than Democrats by a two-to-one margin. Nader received 2 percent of the Republican vote and 1 percent of the Democrat vote. Nader also took 7 percent of the independent vote.
At the same time, 6 percent of registered Democrats voted for Bush! This is the real reason why Gore lost: He couldn't hold his own base! The Democrats never want to talk about this. They never want to talk about their negativity or the lousy campaign Gore ran. It's all, 'It's Nader's fault, it's Nader's ego,' ad nauseum. But back to the exit polling.
On the ideological front, 7 percent of Nader's vote identified themselves as "liberal," while 4 percent called themselves "moderate" and 2 percent "conservatives." Again, 7 to 6, pretty even and the votes could have gone either way.
When asked who they voted for in 1996, 3 percent of Nader's voters said they voted for Bill Clinton, 1 percent said they voted for Bob Dole, and 9 percent said they voted for Ross Perot. Seven percent said they did not vote in 1996. Here are how the numbers were charted:

No vote---12------50-------44---------0-------------7

As everyone knows, in study after study, Perot voters trend conservative. Here in this exit poll, by a more than 2 to 1 margin, Perot in New Hampshire voters went with Bush. So it is safe to say that at least 66 percent - if not more - of Nader's 7 percent of Perot voters, would have gone to Bush. Combine that with the 1 percent from Dole and it is an even split with the previous Clinton voters which most certainly would have gone to Gore. With Bush beating Gore by more than 7,000 votes though, and then splitting the Nader vote, Gore would still lose. Also note: 17 percent of Clinton's vote went to Bush! Gore couldn't hold the previous administration's support.
However, in a two-way race, CNN showed 3 percent of Naders voters said they would have voted for Gore, with 2 percent going to Bush, the same as Rosenbaum stated in his article. But even if the Nader vote was split 60-40, there is still no gain for Gore:

Here are the official New Hampshire results:
Bush: 274,290 - 48 percent
Gore: 266,121 - 47 percent
Nader: 22,188 - 4 percent

Results had the split been 60-40:
Bush: 283,165
Gore: 279,433

Again, even Rosenbaum's figuring with the figures doesn't add up to a Gore victory. As well, in a hypothetical two-way race, there would be no Buchanan candidacy, awarding thousands more votes to Bush.
The same chart, showing a two-way race, the results would have been the same - Bush 48 percent, Gore 47 percent, with 4 percent not voting. Somehow, Rosenbaum forgot to mention that! Again, a Bush win.
Now, this is just CNN and we know that exit polls aren't always accurate. So what do the polling experts say about the New Hampshire vote in 2000?
On Nov. 9, 2000 in a Nashua Telegraph article by David Brooks entitled "Nader probably didn't rain on Gore's N.H. parade," three different political experts challenged the notion that Nader cost Gore the election.
"You can't say, 'Oh, darn, (Gore) would have won otherwise,'" said Dick Bennett of American Research Group, a Manchester-based polling firm. Bennett said the evidence indicates Nader's vote was a solid core that wouldn't have moved to the Democrats. Dartmouth College government professor Dean Spiliotes agreed that no blame should be parceled out.
"I think it's really hard to know, without some kind of systematic means of testing, how people would have voted in a different set of circumstances," he said. "A lot of these people might have not voted at all, if not for Nader."
Spiliotes also doubts the stereotype that Nader voters would naturally turn to Gore as their second choice.
"I know a number of people in this community who voted for Nader, and ideologically these folks were all over the place. Folks I would have pegged for Bush voted for Nader," he said.
Robin Marra, a professor of political science who runs the polling institute at Franklin Pierce College, pointed to two polls done by his group before the election. They showed that about half of Nader supporters had voted for U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the presidential primary.
"The conventional wisdom is that a vote for Nader helped Bush, but that may not be true in New Hampshire," he said. "Maybe some of them were just anti-establishment ... and if they saw Gore as establishment, they wouldn't have backed him."
Bennett said he thinks Nader's tally of 22,156 represented a core group of support that would have been unlikely to support another candidate - an opinion he reached partly because it appears a lot of Nader backers did switch to Gore at the last minute.
"When we polled in September we learned that the Nader voters were generally strategic voters - they would vote for Nader if it wouldn't hurt Gore. The minute they thought it would (hurt him), they changed," he said.
Three experts, some switching to Gore late in the race, but no blame for Nader.
But here is another example: On Nov. 10, 2000 in an Associated Press article published in the Foster's Daily Democrat entitled "Exit polls show Nader wasn't a spoiler in N.H.," the same figures were discussed:
In a New Hampshire exit poll, neither Gore nor Bush got a boost when voters were asked whom they would've chosen in a two-way race. Four percent said they wouldn't have voted at all. While there were not enough Nader voters interviewed in New Hampshire to draw firm conclusions about their effect, national exit polls show 46 percent of Nader voters would have chosen Gore in a two-way race. Twenty-one percent said they would have voted for Bush, but 30 percent said they would not have voted at all. If New Hampshire's Nader supporters matched the national trend, it appears unlikely Gore would have won. When those who would have stayed home or voted to Bush are taken into account, the net gain for Gore would have been only one in four votes.
Again, the state polls show no boost for either candidate. But again, using the national exit polls, with 46 percent of the Nader vote going to Gore and 21 going to Bush, here is what the returns would have looked like:

Bush: 278,949
Gore: 276,327

Here are the figures based on Rosenbaum's 45/27 split:

Bush: 274,290 + 5,991 = 280,281
Gore: 266,121 + 9,976 = 276,097

In other words, Gore would still lose New Hampshire with either of the mathematical formulas.

But back to the AP story:
Clark Hubbard, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, said Nader almost certainly hurt Gore, but how much remains unclear.
"The perceived closeness of the race pushed a lot of partisans back to the fold," he said. "All of the true partisans ended up voting for their party, it was that last-minute voting booth guilt."
Hubbard says the same thing as Bennett in the other article and his comments are a pretty safe bet. The Nader vote literally collapsed on Election Day, dropping for highs of 5 to 6 percent nationally, to the eventually 2.8 percent. In New Hampshire, Nader was as high as 8 percent at one point and ended up with a little more than 4 percent.

I was also quoted in the same article:
"We really drew on the McCain factor. We had a lot of progressives who've stayed out of the process. The majority of Democrats I talked to were never going to vote for Gore ... The Democrats can be angry at us all they want. But they ran a filthy, disgusting campaign. They spent millions and millions of dollars scaring and stealing votes from us. Gore lost by slim margins all over the place. What that says is we didn't cost them the vote, this is a divided nation."
Kathy Sullivan, the chairman of the New Hampshire Demoratic Party, said this in the story:
"All I can say to people who voted for Ralph Nader is that if George Bush is sworn in, the day they start drilling in the Alaskan wildlife refuge, it's your fault. And when the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade ... remember you voted for Ralph Nader."
Well Kathy, yes, some of us voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 and it is almost four years later and ANWR is just fine [with senate Democrats voting for the drilling] and abortion is still legal.
In fact, John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is telling James Hoffa over at the Teamsters that he is ready to drill, drill, drill! If Kerry wins, and the drilling starts, we'll remember that you voted for John Kerry.

Now, on to Florida.

As I said in the Jan. 31 post, this is a bit trickier because of the large number of votes Nader received [more than 97,000] and the slim margin of votes which resulted in the state being "stolen" from Gore [under 600 votes]. It is a safe guess - using the national exit poll model - that Gore would have received more than enough votes to have kept the election from being sent to the Supreme Court, who selected Bush.

However, that's the national exit polling. The Florida exit poll data shows completely different results:

In Florida, CNN's exit polling showed Nader taking the same amount of votes from both Republicans and Democrats: 1 percent. Nader also took 4 percent of the independent vote. At the same time, 13 percent of registered Democrats voted for Bush! Again, Gore couldn't hold his own base and because of this, he lost. The Democrats don't say one word about the fact that 13 percent of their own party members voted for Bush.
On the ideological front, 3 percent of Nader's vote identified themselves as "liberal," while 2 percent called themselves "moderate" and 1 percent called themselves "conservatives." An even split: 6 to 6.
When asked who they voted for in 1996, 1 percent of Nader's voters said they voted for Bill Clinton, 1 percent said they voted for Bob Dole, and 10 percent said they voted for Ross Perot. Here is the chart:

No vote---12------50-------44---------0-------------7

Again, Perot voters trend conservative. In fact, by a 3 to 1 margin, Perot voters in Florida went with Bush. So, with Nader taking equally from voters who cast votes for Clinton as they did from Dole, and then 10 percent previously voting for Perot being split on a 3 to 1 margin to Bush, that shows that if Nader had not been in the race, the majority of those voters would have gone to Bush, by a 7 to 4 margin. Also note: 16 percent of Clinton's vote went to Bush! Again, Gore couldn't hold the previous administration's support.
In a two-way race, CNN showed the results as Bush 49 percent, Gore 47 percent, with 2 percent not voting. And again, with no Buchanan, Bush gains thousands of votes. So, an even split of Nader voters offers no resolve to the matter of the state being thrown to the Supreme Court, with or without Nader.
Now, if you use the national exit polling data, yes, Gore wins handily. But it just doesn't work that way. Each state is different. Both New Hampshire and Florida have large sections of independents who are conservative but not Bush conservatives. Many of them might vote for Nader but wouldn't vote for Gore. Both New Hampshire and Florida are not like Oregon and Wisconsin. From personal experience, having lived in this state off and on for most of my life, I can tell you that independent voters in New Hampshire swing conservative. They might throw votes to Clinton; they might throw votes to Nader; but that doesn't mean they would go to Gore.
On the flip side, Florida is different. There is no doubt in my mind that 600 or more Nader voters from Monroe or Gainesville counties could have gone to Gore. These two counties have pockets of liberals - environmentalists in Monroe County, around the Everglades, and thousands of college students at University of Florida in Gainesville. According to the New York Times, which had a green map of Florida right after the election, Nader's strongest support was in those two counties. But the numbers from CNN don't show this at all so ...
Then again, as talked about in this great article by Jim DeFede, then with the Miami New Times, there was a lot of animosity for centrist Democrats and Gore in Monroe County over the Homestead Air Force base conversion to a multi-use airport: ["Collision Course"]. Again, when the Democrats abandon their base - in this case, liberals and environmentalists - they lose, especially when voters have other choices.

I contacted Kennedy earlier today and gave him some of the data which he posted on his site: ["Buchanan and Nader: a contrarian view"] which he later pooh-poohed, suggesting that because I was a "devoted Nader supporter" he's "not buying his overall thesis." Kennedy then again points to Rosenbaum's flawed analysis.
Now, I like Kennedy a lot. I try to read his Media Log a couple of times a week. While he is a great media critic, he falls a little short in the political analysis department, ignoring the overwhelming exit poll evidence showing that Nader didn't cost Gore the election - and registered Democrats hurt their own cause.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Hawaii Caucuses
97 percent
Kerry - 1,871 - 50 percent - 14 delegates
Kucinich - 981 - 26 percent - 6 delegates
Edwards - 512 - 14 percent
Dean - 323 - 8 percent
Uncommitted - 35
Clark - 30
Lieberman - 5
Kucinich was the only candidate to campaign in Hawaii.

Idaho Caucuses
Kerry - 2,665 - 54 percent - 12 delegates
Edwards - 1,096 - 22 percent - 6 delegates
Dean - 545 - 11 percent
Kucinich - 270 - 6 percent

Utah Primary
Kerry - 19,432 - 55.2 percent - 14 delegates
Edwards - 10,486 - 29.8 percent - 9 delegates
Kucinich - 2,602 - 7.4 percent
Dean - 1,343 - 3.8 percent
Clark - 492 - 1.4 percent
Lieberman - 407 - 1.2 percent
Uncommitted - 305 - 0.9 percent
Gephardt - 124 - 0.4 percent
Kucinich was the only candidate to campaign in Utah.

Delegate Count:
Kerry - 663 [735]
Edwards - 199 [214]
Dean - 185 [175]
Clark - 71 [57]
Sharpton - 16
Lieberman - 8
Kucinich - 8
Gephardt - 3
Other - 1
Uncommitted - 0
Associated Press [CNN]

Monday, February 23, 2004

Reactions to Nader
Ralph Nader dominated the political news over the weekend about his 2004 independent run. Calling the decision as contentious - to the Democrats - would be understatement.
First, here is a story with protest pictures outside of the NBC studios Sunday: ["Ralph Nader Announces Run for Presidency"].
The onslaught of criticism is falling on deaf ears as Nader says he will run hard: ["Nader says he won't back off even if major candidates in a dead heat"].
In the Manchester Union Leader Sunday [no link], former-U.S. Sen. John Durkin said it best: "Gore ran like a sleepwalker [in 2000]. It's a reach to blame Nader." Durkin, who endorsed Howard Dean in the primary and then pulled his endorsement after the Iowa Screech, extolled Nader for his accomplishments and for refusing to be "seduced by the pomp and circumstance of Washington."
"One of the problems in this country is there is a shortage of Ralph Naders," he said.
The Globe has a pretty good overview this morning: ["Nader joins race, riles Democrats"].
One Arkansas columnist advises the Dems to embrace the Deaniacs: ['Democrats, Deaniacs and Greens"]. But unfortunately, he gets it wrong about New Hampshire.
The Nation's John Nichols also weighs in: ["Will Nader matter at all?"].
Nader's Web site is up and running:

Other stuff:
Speaking of New Hampshire, the latest general election poll shows President Bush down 15 percent in a hypothetical one on one matchup: ["Bush's Approval Rating Slips In New Hampshire"].
The NYT ran this piece about Republicans mad at Bush: ["Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Crossing Over"].
While John Kerry slouches back into lazy campaign mode: ["Front-Runner Kerry's Bad Habits Return"].
Then there is Monica Lewinsky, weighing in on the Kerry intern scandal: ["Lewinsky outraged over Kerry 'affair' furore"].
Bob Herbert continues his good column writing: ["Dark Side of Free Trade"].

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Nader is running
MSNBC, with an advanced clip from "Meet the Press," is reporting that Ralph Nader will run for president as an independent.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

February surprise?
"Bin Laden 'surrounded'".

Nader: Sunday's the day ...

On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Nader will announce his 2004 intentions: ["Nader to Announce Decision on 2004 Bid"].
FoxNews says he's in: ["Nader to Jump in Presidential Race"]. Also, Nader responds to The Nation magazine: ["Whither The Nation?"]. FoxNews had a stupid national poll on Friday showing Kerry and Bush equal at 45 percent. But throw in Nader and the numbers were Bush 43, Kerry 42, and Nader 4 percent. It is amazing that the guy hasn't even announced and he supposedly would get more votes than he did in 2000! But these national polls are fraudulent and the media shouldn't be reporting them at all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Will the Real John Kerry Please Stand Up? 
Watching Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign break down and then later surge has come as a big surprise. For over four years, Kerry has made it known that he desired the Oval Office and his place in history.
As someone who has watched Kerry over the years, seen him in other races, and observed him lose all spine when the tough votes came along, his surge is a big surprise. For 18 years, Kerry has done very little he can point to by way of accomplishment.
When he first came to the senate, Kerry was a champion of campaign finance reform, refusing political action committee [PAC] money and only accepting $250 donations. Then he changed his mind and started taking big money - even forming his own presidential slush fund PAC. Kerry paints himself as a champion of the environment but what has he actually done for the environment? Just voting against drilling in ANWR isn't enough.
For the most part, Kerry has had a safe seat in the Senate. Politicians who have safe seats are the ones who are supposed to be the visionaries. They can afford to take chances as big thinkers and float the new ideas. Despite the opportunity to forward meaningful legislation and really affect people's lives in a positive way, Kerry hasn't done the job.
As he ramped up his road to the White House, Kerry could have started building his legislative resume, laying the foundation for the ideas to come. But instead, he coasted or even hurt his own cause, by ignoring political opportunities to shine in the gentlemen's club. In fact, his actions on legislation may come back to haunt him on a massive scale in the final stages of this campaign.
Take organized labor.
Kerry has always had a bad relationship with the unions in Massachusetts. But lucky for him, most of these voters had nowhere else to turn. Anti-union zealots Jim Rappaport (1990), Bill Weld (1996) and Michael Cloud (2002), were Kerry's challengers. However, instead of making some inroads with the union folks, Kerry kicked the shins of the working class time and time again, by voting for NAFTA, GATT and the WTO, and PMFN trade status for China.
Kerry has taken advantage of the fact that many voters had nowhere else to go in Massachusetts. Instead of standing up for workers, Kerry helped pass bad corporate and workers' legislation. His reaction to working folks has been a blasé toss of the hand, while reciting nonsensical globalist gobbledygook: If Americans can't compete with 10 cent labor in China, too bad. At an event in Manchester, N.H. back in August 2003, Kerry said precisely that to a handful of unionized Verizon workers complaining about outsourcing. They were all pretty shocked but those who have watched Kerry weren’t.
All across middle-America, working families are struggling to put food on the table because the factory jobs are gone. People have lost millions of good manufacturing jobs and now have to work two or three service slave jobs at a fraction of the wages they once earned. Kerry helped these people lose their economic advantages as Americans. He has been part of the problem, not the solution.
In fact, on a myriad of issues Kerry has been part of the problem in Washington, D.C. and so closely resembles President George W. Bush it is a wonder what the Democrats of 2004 are thinking.
Kerry voted for Bush’s war resolution but now attacks it. Kerry fell for what looks like a lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the definite falsehood that Saddam Hussein - contained between the 33rd and 36th parallel - was an imminent threat to the United States. Kerry assisted in President Bush's - and President Bill Clinton's - assault on the Constitution by voting for the PATRIOT Act and voting for the anti-terrorism bill in 1996. Kerry also voted for Bush's unfunded federal education mandate "No Child Left Behind," which he also now attacks. Kerry has supported wasteful government programs like foreign aid, hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare every year, IMF/World Bank’s enslavement of the Third World, etc. This morning, the Associated Press is reporting that Kerry worked to protect a $150 million loophole for a major insurance company working on The Big Dig - a $15 billion dollar construction boondoggle in Boston - which has been rife with corruption and political scandal, coming in 500 percent over budget.
For almost two decades, Kerry hasn’t been fighting the special interests he has been enabling the special interests.
And as stated before, Kerry has voted for every free trade deal that has come down the pike and despite being prodded and questioned by the voters back home, he refuses to come out against CAFTA, the extensive of NAFTA to other nations of Latin America. Kerry’s “fighting for us”? Far from it.
In the end, voters may ignore Kerry’s real record and vote for him because the national press corps believes he is “electable.” But voters would be smart to take a second look and sharply analyze Kerry’s true record because when all is said and done, they may not like what they see.
The end of Dean
Howard Dean stepped out of the presidential race this afternoon. He did not endorse any of the remaining candidates but said he would try and galvanize his organization to revitalize the Democratic Party. This is like Jerry Brown all over again when he tried to change the Democratic Party with his "We the People" organization but never followed through with it. Of course, there was no Internet then, just Brown's very active 800#. Dean said he would also not be releasing his delegates, a very smart move. He will remain on the ballot in future states to allow his supporters to vote for him in attempt to get more progressive delegates for the convention. But with the 15 percent threshold needed to win delegates, Dean's hope to win more delegates is doubtful. He really should just endorse one of the remaining candidates and be done with it.

Here's Dean's statement from his blog:
"Today my candidacy may come to an end--but our campaign for change is not over. I want to thank each and every person who has supported this campaign. Over the last year, you have reached out to neighbors, friends, family and colleagues--building one American at a time the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. I will never forget the work and the heart that you put into our campaign.
In the coming weeks, we will be launching a new initiative to continue the campaign you helped begin. Please continue to come to for updates and news as our new initiative develops. There is much work still to be done, and today is not an end-it is just the beginning.
This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, we've engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this year's record participation in the primaries and caucuses.
The fight that we began can and must continue. Although my candidacy for president may end today, the most important goal remains defeating George W. Bush in November, and I hope that you will join me in doing everything we can to support the Democrats this fall. From the earliest days of our campaign, I have said that the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back."
CNN's new debate rules?
FoxNews is reporting that CNN's next Democratic presidential primary debate will limit the inclusion to any candidate who has received at least 10 percent in a primary. This would essentially black out Dennis Kucinich and/or Al Sharpton. Or will it? Kucinich received 16 percent in the Maine Caucus and Sharpton received 20 percent in the D.C. Caucuses, so who knows. If a caucus counts as a primary in CNN's eyes, well, it is still a four-way debate. If not, there could be problems. While John Edwards wants a one-on-one with John Kerry, keeping Sharpton out of the debate would be a mistake and could alienate black voters.

Is it a Weekly Standard ad or a Bush 2004 ad?
So I get home, plunk myself down in a chair and switch on the news, mostly because I want to see some of Dean's announcement and I can't find anything but minor clips. I leave it on FoxNews and start flipping through the newspapers when I hear an ad for The Weekly Standard, a conservative weekly, pimping subscriptions. I look up and in between the media accolades for the mag, there are pictures of President Bush at his desk, in a roundtable, on the aircraft carrier where he declared "Mission Accomplished" in the Iraqi invasion. I stop and think to myself, is this an ad for the president's reelection campaign or a magazine? Yeah, sure, it is a conservative magazine. But the ad is more like a campaign ad than a magazine ad. Is there some department who investigates the content of ads? I don't know but this needs to be looked at. I can imagine the howling that would be going on if a liberal weekly were showing President Clinton in such a glowing light during an election year and promoting the fact that the White House reads its rag. This is ridiculous.

Short clips
Ted Rall has an elegy for Dean: ["Howie, we hardly knew ye"].
FAIR's Laura Flanders looks at Kerry's Foreign Policy team ... and doesn't like what she sees: ["Not quite a dream team"].
You gotta wonder a little about Alex: ["Alex Polier, Insta-Celebster"].
Anti-war protester and former Jane Fonda boy-toy Tom Hayden thinks the time is now: ["The Progressive Populist Moment Has Arrived"].

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Dean to endorse Edwards? Hmm ...
There is a lot of stuff breaking right now and some of the puzzle pieces are coming together. John Kerry won the Wisconsin Primary tonight. But the Washington Post is reporting that Howard Dean and John Edwards met on Sunday to hash some stuff out: ["Dean: Kingmaker or Rainmaker?"]. No agreements were reached but the two agreed to talk again on Wednesday.
It may be becoming clearer why Steve Grossman made some of his remarks on Sunday - first, suggesting Dean would drop out and later, saying he would move to John Kerry's campaign. Grossman must have known that Dean was working on a deal to keep Kerry from the nomination - which frankly, is a smart move. But Grossman is from Mass. and a former Kerry supporter. He could support Dean but he can't hijack Kerry. Grossman's political career would probably be over if he did that. While Kerry is not liked by many in the state, he currently controls the Massachusetts political mafia and they want Kerry to be the nominee in Boston in July.
However, notice this line in the Post:

A few days earlier, meanwhile, two top officials for the Democratic National Committee traveled to Burlington, Vt., to meet with Roy Neel, the Dean campaign's chief executive. Their agenda, diplomatically stated but unmistakable, was to find out whether and how Dean would harness his network of highly motivated grass-roots activists and small contributors on behalf of the national party and the eventual nominee, according to people familiar with the session.

God, these people are too much! They kill Dean's campaign via ridicule and now they want his lists. Pathetic.

More on Nader
The Web is bursting with Ralph Nader stuff. Here is a piece from Counterpunch: ["Nader Attack a New Low Point"]. Or this, a little more sarcastic, from the NY Press: ["Please, Mr. Nader, let’s repeat 2000"]. Here is one from the other side of politics: ["Run, Ralph, Run!"]. And something from former radical activist Tom Hayden, although more making the point that Nader isn't needed: ["The Progressive Populist Moment Has Arrived"].
Kerry wins Wisconsin
John Kerry - 327,672 - 40 percent
John Edwards - 283,327 - 34 percent
Howard Dean - 150,682 - 18 percent
Dennis Kucinich - 27,232 - 3 percent
Al Sharpton - 14,685 - 2 percent
Wesley Clark - 12,687 - 2 percent
Joe Lieberman - 3,910 - 1 percent
Carol Moseley Braun - 1,630
Lyndon LaRouche - 1,630
Dick Gephardt - 1,264
Uninstructed Delegation - 1,136

George Bush - 158,677 - 99 percent
Uninstructed Delegation - 1,207 - 1 percent

Michael Badnarik - 1,497 - 44 percent
Gary Nolan - 1,488 - 44 percent
Uninstructed Delegation - 393 - 12 percent
Too positive?
Have the Democrats been too positive? The NYT thinks so: ["Missing Ingredient in 2004: Attack Ads by Democrats"]. This is very interesting. For some reason, I remember the NYT lecturing candidates in the past for being too negative and here is one reporter advocating the opposite. Ugh, will they make up their minds already?

Nader - 2004
Here is some more stuff suggesting that Nader will be running again in 2004.
The Oregonian has a profile of Jason Kafoury, the college kid who is helping Ralph make the big decision: ["The Monday Profile: Jason Kafoury"].
Despite assertions he won't be running as a Green, in Maine, the Greens are considering drafting him for their ballot line: ["Maine Green Independent Party to Caucus Across State"].
Blogger Daniel Munz gives a pretty balanced view of the pros and cons: ["Ralph: Nadir"].
But some, like John Pearce, keep their blinders and march in lockstep over the Democratic cliff while affecting no real change for themselves or the people: ["Progressives doom their causes by voting third party"].
Others, like Fran Shor, make some good points against a Nader run: ["What's the Historical Alternative?"].
Those who don't think the Nader option is important should read this piece from the New Republic, about retribution against Dean supporters: ["Oops!"]. See how the Democrats eat their own young? Why would you not want other voting options? Why should the voters continue to support this kind of behavior?

Monday, February 16, 2004

A denial
The woman who has been accused of having a two-year affair with Democratic frontrunner John Kerry denied the affair today: ["Woman Denies Rumors of Kerry Affair"]. It's funny that she would release this press release because many people over the last three days have suggested that a deal would be made and she would recant her comments, saying that she had dated a campaign aide. However, ABCNews reportedly has a videotaped interview with the woman confirming the affair: ["Report: Kerry's intern
tells all to TV network"]
. Stay tuned.
Grossman: Fair weather friend?
Former DNC chairman Steve Grossman, the campaign chairman for Howard Dean, has signaled that he will abandon Dean if he doesn't win Wisconsin and will try to mend fences with John Kerry and rally Dean's supporters to the Kerry cause: ["Top Dean Aide Discusses Plans to Back Kerry"] and ["Chairman set to leave Dean camp"].
Grossman isn't a friend of mine but I know him and respect him. However, I don't think this is the best move he could make. Yes, he did a difficult and brave thing by telling Kerry he wasn't going to back him in 2004. And he is smart to be worried about disillusioned Deaniacs bolting the Democrats and flocking to Ralph Nader or the Green Party. But he should stay by Dean's side until the bitter end like a good soldier.

Kerry's 'mistress' ready to talk...
"She wants to tell her story. She has talked at length about her relationship with Kerry. But no one is believing her.": ["John Kerry girl tells all"]. But what the hell is she doing in Kenya?: ["Kerry intern hiding in Kenya"].

And this says is all
["Bush v. Kerry: The Power Elite's Dream Ballot"].
"Bush v. Kerry is simply nirvana for the bluebloods. As they say in the business world: it's a win-win situation. From their perspective, whomever places his hand upon the Bible (yes, the Bible) on January 20, 2005 doesn't matter because with a Bush/Kerry contest they're already assured there will be no meaningful change in America for the next four years. None. Zero. Zippo."

Edwards endorsed
The Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the organizers of last night's debate, and the Madison Capital Times have endorsed John Edwards: ["John Edwards for the Democrats"] and ["John Edwards best prepared to replace Bush"].

And Nader is leaning towards a run
This from the Seattle Times on Saturday was the only thing I could find but it is all the buzz on the Web boards: ["Nader candidacy expected"].

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Dean: Hell no, I won't go!
The AP's Ron Fournier's does a follow up to his earlier piece with Grossman: ["Dean to Advisers: 'We Are Not Bowing Out'"].
After Tuesday
A lot is going on behind the scenes of the Democratic primary. Not much of it is bubbling to the surface in public forums although the Web is all abuzz with strategy and speculation. However, the decisions are being made on the inside and one has to wonder what is going on.
Despite just 16 states casting ballots, everyone is assuming that John Kerry is the winner. This is a safe assumption but it is an accurate one? Steve Grossman, the former DNC chairman and frontman for the Dean campaign, is saying that Dean will abandon his campaign if he doesn't win in Wisconsin: ["Top aides say Dean prepared to stand down against Kerry"]. Earlier in the day, Dean denied this, saying he would like to stay in until Florida [March 9]: ["Transcript"]. It has become clear, from this and other debates on the Web, that it isn't about which candidate can win - as much as who can stop John Kerry - who is clearly not the best choice for the Democrats. So, I began to think: If I were involved in the Dean or Edwards campaigns, how would I stop Kerry? OK, this is a stretch but I see an opening here to stop Kerry from getting the nomination. After analyzing the primary map again [], here is what I would advise the Dean and Edwards camps to do. Winning the nomination is going to be hard. But stopping Kerry is easier. From there, who knows? The unfortunate thing about these candidates and the modern campaign is the obsession over money and the ignorance about grassroots campaigning. Candidates don't always need money. They can win [or place] with little funds. Jerry Brown proved this in 1992. Third parties and independents prove this over and over again. Why are the Democrats clueless to this truth? But back to the future - and stopping Kerry:

Stay in the race. Barring a very distant third place finish in Wisconsin, stick it out until Super Tuesday March 2. If your campaigns are running on fumes, cut your staff down to the bare minimum: One press person and an advance person or two. Lay out the basic strategy for your volunteers and tell them that this is the only way to survive. They will have to do more with less and if they really want you to be the preisdent, they will have to do all they can - without the help of numerous paid staff. Dean can do this via his very active Web lists and blogs. Also, it is time for the Dean and Edwards camps to start talking to each other if they haven't already. Some people inside the Dean campaign have said that they think Edwards is jockeying for the VP slot. Edwards has denied this but who knows. If these campaigns are serious about stopping Kerry, they have to act together.

March 2. March 2 isn't a southern sweep, as someone pointed out to me. The states include the New England states, Ohio, Maryland, Georgia, and California. Dean will win in Vermont and very well could place second in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He could also place second in New York and California. All of these states have rabid liberal and anti-war constituencies that haven't been courted at all by Kerry. There is no reason for him to quit before March 2. Go home after Wisconsin, take a few days off. But by staying in, Dean could get more delegates and give the voters a reason to participate in the remaining primaries. Try and get as much free media as possible by holding small events in non-rented locations, similar to New Hampshire grassroots campaigning. This will cost you very little money while at the same time getting you some media. When Clark was campaigning around New Hampshire during the last hours before the primary, he was talking into a $150 portable amplifier. There is no reason why Dean and Edwards can't do the same. Go to the colleges where there are always good size auditoriums, professional audio, and tons of kids who want to hear you speak. For Dean, he should cede Maryland, Georgia, and Ohio, to Kerry, Edwards and Kucinich, respectively. More than likely, Kerry will get cocky and start kicking-in his national strategy. If the sex scandal explodes beyond the Internet, Kerry will sink like a stone. Don't you want to be there when it happens? Edwards will concentrate on Maryland and Georgia, states he will place second in at the very least, if not win.

The southern sweep. Depending on the results of March 2, and barring major Kerry losses, either Dean or Edwards might have to suspend or quit his campaigns. If I were running the Dean campaign, I would advise him not to quit but instead to "suspend" his campaign like Tsongas did in 1992. There is a difference. If he suspends his campaign, Dean could jump in or influence the race later on.
In 1992, Tsongas ran out of money - mostly because one of his fund-raisers was skimming from the till. When he suspended his campaign, he essentially said he wasn't going to campaign but people could vote for him if they wanted to. Tsongas' name stayed on other ballots and a lot of people still voted for him even though he wasn't actively campaigning. As well, when the insiders wanted to get rid of insurgent Jerry Brown - who was destroying Bill Clinton in debates and was leading in polls just before the New York primary - Tsongas jumped back in the week before and siphoned votes from Brown, ending his reform campaign [As a side note, years later during a lunch with a friend of mine, Tsongas said he regretted the move and wished he hadn't hijacked Brown's campaign. He said so many people - from Jimmy Carter on down - were urging him to jump back in. So, he did].
As I said before, if Dean isn't talking to Edwards, he should be. They should be trying to mount some sort of "Stop Kerry" movement as soon as possible. Kerry can be stopped. Looking at the map, there is time and there are states where Kerry can be stopped. There are still thousands of Deaniacs who haven't cast votes yet and Edwards has been gaining popularity.
However, Dean may be getting tired and with his sails deflated and the nomination all but snatched from his grip, he may want to just head home. I can understand where he is at. More than likely, he will drop out. But he might want to wait.

The March 9 states. The March 9 states are all southern: Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Dean will probably not get over 15 percent in these states so if he stays in, he should pass them up and let Edwards and Kerry duke it out. Instead, Dean should move to March 16 - Illinois - where Carol Moseley Braun is still very popular. She endorsed Dean. Yes, there will be pressure for him to quit but why should he? Again, go back to the low money strategy: Get into a car, retail campaign up and down the state and pretend it is New Hampshire. Use the free media. Let Edwards take Kerry out in the south.

Pennsylvania. After March 16 comes Pennsylvania with its April 27 primary. That's a month. A whole month. Almost anything can happen in a month. Pennsylvania is a huge state - a big union state. Will Kerry's free trade past come back to haunt him? Brown, even after being eliminated from contention, still received over 25 percent of the vote and got delegates to the convention in 1992. That's a quarter of the vote interested in an insurgent even if the insurgent can't win. At this point, it will probably be a two person race between someone and Kerry. Will Dean's message survive? Can Edwards [with the help of the Deaniacs, assuming he is out] launch a surprise victory there? Possibly.

Midwest and the south. The future from there spells trouble for Kerry if Edwards can stick it out. The month of May is southern, Midwestern and liberal: May 4: Indiana and North Carolina [Kerry and Edwards split]; May 11: West Virginia and Indiana [Edwards and Kerry split]; May 18: Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oregon [Edwards and Kerry split, with Dean helping Edwards win Oregon]. May 25: Idaho [toss up]. As I have said before, look at Kerry's positions - he is so close to Bush it isn't even funny. How is that going to go over in Oregon where Ralph Nader got 6 percent of the vote and would have gotten more had Gore not scared votes from him. How about West Virginia and Indiana, states that have lost manufacturing jobs due to the bad trade deals passed by Kerry?

June. June 1: Alabama and South Dakota [Edwards and Kerry]. June 6: New Jersey and Montana [Probably both Kerry].

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Kerry wins two more ...
D.C. Caucuses
John F. Kerry - 4,278 - 47 percent
Al Sharpton - 1,824 - 20 percent
Howard Dean - 1,596 - 17 percent
John Edwards - 927 - 10 percent
Dennis J. Kucinich - 303 - 3 percent
Wesley K. Clark - 93 - 1 percent
Write-ins - 55 - 1 percent
Joseph I. Lieberman - 31
Uncommitted - 19

Nevada Caucuses
John F. Kerry - 2,252 - 63 percent
Howard Dean - 601 - 17 percent
John Edwards - 373 - 10 percent
Dennis J. Kucinich - 241 - 7 percent
Uncommitted - 90 - 3 percent
Al Sharpton - 25 - 1 percent

So much for "[a]n estimated 6,000 Democrats converged on Chaparral High School ..." 6,000 people didn't even participate.
Nevada [and D.C.] Caucuses ...
Nothing yet from the Nevada Caucuses even if the polls have been closed for a couple of hours. However, reports are saying that the turnout was huge, the highest ever seen in the history of caucuses. Check out this from the state Democratic Committee's Web site:

"An estimated 6,000 Democrats converged on Chaparral High School in Clark County with thousands more gathering across Nevada to select their candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. With thousands unable to head inside the school, party officials moved the precinct meetings out to the high school's football field; where Senator Harry Reid, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins and State Senate Democratic Leader Dina Titus spoke of unity and a single-purpose - adding George Bush to the ranks of the unemployed he helped to create."

Also, there is a caucus in D.C. to send delegates to the convention - not cast votes. That already happened, on Jan. 13, and Howard Dean won, handily. Of course, the media and politicos pooh-poohed it because the primary was "non-binding." But the fact remains, Dean did win one - the first one - the D.C. Primary on Jan. 13.
No results yet on who won the delegate apportionment.
Does Kerry have Clinton problems?
The Internet has been abuzz with allegations that Democratic frontrunner John Kerry had a two-year affair with an AP reporter. Strangely, there has been little mention in the mainstream press. No mention on "Hardball." No mention on "The Factor" or "Hannity & Colmes." WCVB Channel 5 did a short blurb on Kerry's denial, as did ABC News' "World News Tonight." But this should have gotten more play. The only one who seemed to notice was Men's News Daily: ["John Kerry Sex Scandal: U.S. Media Blackout?"].
According to the Drudge Report, where the story broke, the European and some American metropolitan press, has been all over the story: ["Kerry faces big test in internet storm about mystery woman"]. One newspaper, the Sun, even contacted the woman's parents. Her father called Kerry a "sleazeball": ["New JFK hit by scandal"].
And then there is the typical reaction, like this piece from Joe Conason in Salon, who blames the Republicans for the Kerry intern story: ["There he goes again!"]. Is he clueless? This didn't come from the GOP. This was leaked by Wesley Clark in an off-the-record discussion with reporters saying that Kerry would implode due to "an intern problem." Further, Clark probably got it from Clintonista Chris Lehane, a former operative of Kerry's who was part of the Shaheen-November purge and later went to Clark. A day after the allegations, at the height of the Clark amateur hour, he endorsed Kerry.
Lastly, this probably won't be Kerry's only "bimbo eruption." Which is why Howard Dean is reportedly not going to drop out after Wisconsin.

Nader on the horizon ...
No word from the Ralph Nader front. The silence is eerie. Word is he will wait until the end of the month. But time is running out. If Nader doesn't decide soon, will he be able to get on state ballots? I did a quick search about ballot requirements and even went to Ballot Access News but couldn't find any information. For the 2000 race, Nader started organizing in November and still missed six state ballots.
Some people have come out saying Ralph should run again. Here's one from an odd source, CBS News: ["Run, Ralph, Run"].

"I say: Go for it, Ralph.
Why? Because Nader is not to blame for the fact that Al Gore is not president. Because I believe vigorous, high profile third-party candidacies (as high profile as third parties get in this country, that is) are good, even crucial for the political system. Because skilled political mischief-makers capable of occasionally piercing the homogenized, focus group tested, corporate sponsored claptrap of the two big parties are a rare godsend. Because more voices are better than fewer voices."

But there is this from Norman Solomon: ["An Odd Accusation From Ralph Nader"].

"While Nader is 100 percent correct that he has a right to run for president, that's not in dispute. The debate is over the wisdom of running this year. Like many other people who voted for Nader in 2000, I agree with The Nation's editorial. But that's not the point. Agree with it or not, there's no basis for Nader's canard about 'censorship.'"

Whether or not Nader runs, there are some suing for inclusion: ["Third-party hopefuls sue for inclusion"].

Want to run for president?
Here's how: ["American Candidate"]. I was joking with my wife that I might apply, especially since I qualify, and she nixed the idea. :-)

Delegate counts
According to AP:
Kerry 540
Dean 182
Edwards 166
Clark 85 [CNN: 68]
Sharpton 12
Lieberman 9
Gephardt 3
Kucinich 2 [Actual: 8]
Other 1
Uncommitted 0

Needed to nominate 2,162
Total Delegate Votes 4,322
Chosen thus far 1,000
Yet to be chosen 3,321
Vanity Fair and a hot bath ...
There is just nothing like enjoying a hot bath while reading Vanity Fair. The new - and huge - Hollywood issue came out this week and it is massive - over 400 pages although, disappointingly, it is mostly ads. Where are the stories? The last Hollywood issue had a bunch of pretty good book excerpts and the magazine regularly has at least two good stories worth reading, sometimes more. This month, however, there wasn't much of interest to me. There is a brilliant feature on these three kids who filmed their own version of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in their backyard over an eight year period and have now become the hottest thing in Hollywood. There is also a pathetic rant by the otherwise hilarious Christopher Hitchens attacking Mel Gibson's latest supposedly breathtaking epic "The Passion of the Christ." Note to Hitchens: Go back to writing about Kissinger the war criminal and leave Gibson - who is a brilliant filmmaker, regardless of his loose interpretation of history - alone. Frankly, the world needs to see - and understand - a lot more about Christ.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Virginia Primary results:
Kerry - 203,773 - 51.5 percent
Edwards - 105,333 - 26.6 percent
Clark - 36,542 - 9.2 percent
Dean - 27,595 - 7 percent
Sharpton - 12,829 - 3.2 percent
Kucinich - 5,009 - 1.3 percent
Lieberman - 2,859 - 0.7 percent
LaRouche - 1,038 - 0.3 percent
Gephardt - 585 - 0.2 percent

Tennessee Primary results
Kerry - 150,905 - 41 percent
Edwards - 97,385 - 26.5 percent
Clark - 84,874 - 23 percent
Dean - 16,035 - 4.4 percent
Sharpton - 6,084 - 1.7 percent
Lieberman - 3,690 - 1 percent
Uncommitted - 2,485 - 0.7 percent
Moseley Braun - 2,453 - 0.7 percent
Kucinich - 2,271 - 0.6 percent
Gephardt - 1,388 - 0.4 percent
LaRouche - 279 - 0.1 percent

George Bush - 94,238 - 95.5 percent
Other - 4,483 - 4.5 percent

MSNBC reported last night that Wesley Clark spent three times as much money in Tennessee than John Kerry did.

Delegate Counts:
Kerry 516 [CNN: 517]
Dean 182 [CNN: 186]
Edwards 165 [CNN: 166]
Clark 102
Lieberman 13
Sharpton 12
Gephardt 4
Kucinich 2 [Actual: 8]
Other 1
Uncommitted 0

Needed to nominate 2,162
Total Delegate Votes 4,322
Chosen thus far 997
Yet to be chosen 3,325

Source: Associated Press

Note: It should be noted that Kucinich has more than two delegates. According to many reports, Kucinich received one delegate from the Washington Caucuses and five delegates from the Maine Caucuses, bringing his total to eight. I don't know why the AP and other sources are not awarding these delegates to Kucinich.
Kerry wins in Virginia, Tennessee; Clark out
I am busy doing work this morning. But I will update with results and analysis tomorrow - as well as some other good political dirt.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Overseas Caucuses
On Monday, American residents living overseas were allowed to caucus the Democratic candidates, awarding five delegates to John Kerry and two delegates to Howard Dean.

Sunday, February 8, 2004

Maine Caucuses
80 percent
Kerry - 6,842 - 45.1 percent
Dean - 3,960 - 26.1 percent
Kucinich - 2,383 - 15.7 percent
Edwards - 1,187 - 7.8 percent
Clark - 564 - 3.7 percent
Uncommitted - 191 - 1.3 percent
Sharpton - 26 - 0.2 percent
Lieberman - 4
Write-ins - 2

Here it is: ["'Al-Qaida has nukes'"].

More on the speculation of a Kerry/Edwards ticket: ["Kerry-Edwards?"]. And then, there is the Hillary spin too. Why can't the media just stop all this about Hillary?

Can Bubba at least try to keep it in his pants?
Speaking of Hillary, supposedly, she is a bit peeved with her husband's "close relationship" with a Canadian woman: ["Hillary burns in Bill, Belinda tab shocker"]. Here are some pictures of her: ["Belinda Stronach"].

Another primary idea
During a discussion on Daily Kos over the weekend, a woman posted this as an idea for future Democratic primaries:
"How about a completely re-vamped primary process? Here's an idea...The four weekends starting with January 15: 4 primaries in small states -- picked by random drawing -- with NO official results announced until the end of the election in all 4 states. Then each weekend in March: 4 Primaries in medium sized states each -- again picked by random drawing -- with NO official results announced until the end of the election in all 4 states. Then in April: a 50 state vote between the 2 top vote getters which overrides any previous individual state vote and determines the nominee."
The media
A couple of pretty good pieces on the media's influence on the campaign: ["How the media choose a president"] ["Fallout from Dean's scream on news networks: Get used to it"] ["The Media Disappeared Howard Dean"].

Hangin' on
The round up from the Sunday shows. Why give up now? Keep going. Make Kerry earn it: ["Clark, Edwards say they'll stay in Democratic presidential race"].

More polls from future states
American Research Group shows the Feb. 10 and Feb. 17 states:
In Tennesse, John Kerry has 32 percent, John Edwards has 21 percent, Wesley Clark has 20 percent, with Howard Dean has 8 percent. Dennis Kucinich and the Rev. Al Sharpton have 1 percent each. The undecideds make up 17 percent.
In Virginia, Kerry has 35 percent, Edwards 22 percent, Clark 17 percent, Dean at 9, with Kucinich and Sharpton at 1 percent. Undecideds are at 15 percent.
In Wisconsin, the Dean must-win state, Kerry has 41, Clark has 15, Edwards at 10, and Dean at 9 percent. Both Kucinich and Sharpton have 2 percent, with undecideds making up 21 percent.

Delegate Count
John Kerry 409
Howard Dean 174
John Edwards 116
Wesley Clark 82
Joe Lieberman 19
Al Sharpton 13
Dick Gephardt 5
Dennis Kucinich 2
Other 1
Uncommitted 0

Needed to nominate 2,162
Total Delegate Votes 4,322

Editor's Note: An earlier edition of this post had incorrect information in it which has since been corrected.

Saturday, February 7, 2004

Michigan Caucuses
Kerry - 84,214 - 51.7 percent [91 delegates]
Dean - 26,994 - 16.6 percent [24]
Edwards - 21,919 - 13.5 percent [6]
Sharpton - 11,270 - 6.9 percent [7]
Clark - 10,986 - 6.7 percent
Kucinich - 5,183 - 3.2 percent
Gephardt - 944 - 0.6 percent
Lieberman - 682 - 0.4 percent
Uncommitted - 476 - 0.3 percent
Carol Moseley Braun - 163 - 0.1 percent
Other/write-ins - 98 - 0.1 percent

Over 148,000 turned out according to the state's Lt. Gov. Over 123,000 applied for Internet ballots. Over 110,00 qualified for ballots. Over 46,000 ballots filed over the Internet, with 24,000 ballots via mail.

Washington Caucuses
Kerry - 10,578- 48.6 percent [46 delegates]
Dean - 6,583 - 30.2 percent [29]
Kucinich - 1,695 - 7.8 percent [1]
Edwards - 1,386 - 6.6 percent
Clark - 692 - 3.3 percent
Uncommitted - 598 - 2.9 percent
Sharpton - 12 - 0.1 percent

[Six weeks ago, Dean had a 31-point lead in the polls.]

Preview of Maine
Here's a very good preview of the Maine Caucus by Lance Tapley in the Portland Phoenix: ["Symbolic leaders
The Democratic campaign: Drama, melodrama, or tragedy?"]
. I have never read this guy before but he nails a lot on the head. Check this section out:

Personally, I couldn't understand the controversy when I saw the tape of that moment, which was available the next day on the Internet. Dean was just cheerleading his troops. Why the big deal? Craig Brown, founder of, the popular, Portland-based progressive-politics Web site, explained it to me. Brown, a legendary Maine political operative, was manager of Tom Andrews's winning congressional (and his losing US Senate) campaigns, as well as of several referendum contests.
"You had to have seen it live on TV," he maintains. "The context was that Dean had been declared the third-placer loser. In the protocol of election night, the losers speak first. The networks were setting it up as a concession speech. You’d expect a classy speech to the country and a graceful concession. The networks all went live. He was speaking to a national, prime-time audience. What he did wasn’t expected at all. It was so out of context for what the moment was supposed to be. It’s a ritualized business. It backfired. The press overplayed it, but he gave it to them."
In other words, Dean and his people didn’t have the experience to know that he was not really performing for the 3500 emotionally charged young people in that Iowa
auditorium. His real audience was the tens of millions watching on TV.
Howard Dean, the Washington outsider, the former governor of a small, quirky state, was — extremely literally — not ready for prime time. For a presidential candidate in our society, what, indeed, could be more tragic?
Delegate Count
John Kerry 399
Howard Dean 172
John Edwards 112
Wesley Clark 82
Joe Lieberman 19
Al Sharpton 13
Dick Gephardt 5
Dennis Kucinich 2
Other 1
Uncommitted 0

Needed to nominate 2,162
Total Delegate Votes 4,322
There are a lot of unhappy people in Michigan: ["Detroit caucus sites stay open extra two hours; black leaders call for new election"].

FoxNews is reporting that AFSCME, a governmental union, of withdrawing its support of Howard Dean! Here is the AP's report: ["Big union that endorsed Dean will withdraw support: sources"]. What a bunch of pathetic little weasels. Oh, you aren't winning so we're gone. The guy hasn't even dropped out yet. Be loyal. Go down with the ship you little governmental weasels.


According to Friday's posting of ABCNews' The Note, caucus results in Michigan and Washington should be posted sometime around 7 or 8 p.m. tonight. Kerry is expected to win both handily with Gephardt and the unions helping out in Michigan. However, for months, residents have been able to vote over the Internet ["Michigan caucus provides Internet voting test"] so there is a good chance that Dean may do better than polls suggest, since over 21,000 people have already voted.
The results from the Maine Caucus will be in around 7 or 8 p.m. tomorrow night.
Watching the Michigan newspaper coverage of the caucus the last few days has been amazing. They have all but coronated Kerry the winner. The Detroit Free Press - yeah, the union-busting newspaper - had this headline on Thursday: "Kerry all but owns Michigan." The media's spin prompted a letter from Denise Wilmarth of Ann Arbor: ["Let people, not media, decide state vote"].
Since Dean tumbled so far so fast, the media have latched onto Kerry. Exclusive coverage of one candidate unfairly influences the people into thinking there is only one candidate. There are three candidates at the present time. Sen. John Edwards has gotten quite a bit of press, and the news media seem to indicate he will give Kerry some competition. The press, however, continually ignores Wesley Clark.
Actually, there are at least nine candidates on the ballot, according to the Michigan Democratic Party's Web site: ["Democratic candidates"]. I don't know if there are any of the "fringe" candidates involved in the caucuses but you get her point anyway.
A similar letter appeared on Thursday in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer from Michael Tamayo of Seattle: ["Don't let media make your decision for you"].
"When you go to your caucus, please vote your conviction and not what has been crowned in the media."
Back to Friday's Free Press, black columnist Rochelle Riley endorses Sharpton: ["The choice is clear: Vote for Sharpton"]. I have read a couple of Riley's columns over the last year and she is really great. Check out these lines:
"We need to vote for a candidate who cares about children and about America's dying cities and about the lack of health care and a poor education system. We need to go out on a limb one more time, as Michigan tends to do, and vote for an underdog ... The sad truth is that Dean might have made a good president. He still might. But he's not sure who he is. He began his campaign as a self-assured outsider who knows how to run a government. He captured the Internet and connected with young voters. But then he turned into Al Gore. He lost his passion and let the skewering about a rousing speech make him mute. You don't become Al Gore if you want to be president."
And that is the problem here: Kerry is so much like Gore, so much like President Bush, do the Democrats really want to risk nominating him?
Also, what is going on with the Dean campaign? Why the hell isn't he in Maine for the caucus tomorrow? Maine has a history of voting for mavericks and insurgents. In 1992 Democratic primaries, Jerry Brown beat Paul Tsongas there by less than 1 percent although the media kept saying that Tsongas won [after all the results came in from the woods, there was a shift in votes giving the win to Brown. Newspapers like the Boston Globe failed to run corrections and the damage was done]. In both 1992 and 1996, Maine gave Ross Perot his best results in the general election, with a second-place finish for Perot in 1992 against home state candidate Bush 41. Maine also elected independent Angus King for governor and Greens have been able to garner as much as 10 percent in state-wide races and even win state rep. seats. The Kucinich campaign is predicting a third-place finish, behind Kerry and Dean. But Dean should be there - at least for a few hours - canvassing a city or two, getting footage on the local news stations the night before, showing the voters that he cares enough about winning the state to actually show up before the caucus.

Tennessee is Feb. 10. Mason-Dixon Polling & Research says John Kerry has 31 percent, Wesley Clark comes in at 22,
John Edwards has 13, and Howard Dean has 7 percent.
Mason-Dixon says Virginia [Feb. 10] is a little closer: Kerry at 34, Edwards at 25, Clark at 14 percent, Dean at 8 percent, with undecided making up 13 percent.
In Wisconsin [Feb. 17], according to The Polling Report, Dean's do-or-die state looks like death: Kerry 35, Clark 11, Edwards 9, and Dean at 8 percent.
Survey USA says Maryland [March 2] is also going to Kerry: 47 percent, Edwards 15, Dean 12, the Rev. Al Sharpton 10, and Clark 6 percent.

Friday, February 6, 2004

Delegate Count
John Kerry 270
Howard Dean 121
John Edwards 109
Wesley Clark 82
Joe Lieberman 19
Al Sharpton 6
Dick Gephardt 5
Dennis Kucinich 2
Other 1
Uncommitted 0

Needed to nominate 2,162
Total Delegate Votes 4,322

Source: Associated Press

Thursday, February 5, 2004

Gephardt endorses Kerry
Everyone knew this was coming: ["Gephardt To Endorse Kerry"]. This is a pretty huge thing because John Kerry has no credibility on labor issues. Dick Gephardt does help his campaign a bit. Kerry has had every opportunity to build relationships with labor but instead he has voted for every trade deal that has come down the pike, no matter how bad. Gephardt is definitely on the short list for the VP slot and Kerry would be smart to pick him.

Dean: The End?
Dean admits, the end is near: ["Dean Says He Must Win Wisconsin or Be 'Out of Race'"]. This is really sad to watch. Personally, I would advise not to quit. Kerry is going to stumble. It may happen tomorrow. It may happen next month. But it will happen. Dean shouldn't give up so easily after building so much. What are all those kids going to do? They will be so disillusioned by the process. This just can't happen yet.

Latest polls
Survey USA has some new polls:
In Tennessee, next week, John Kerry 31 percent [up from 4 percent a month ago], Wesley Clark steady at 26 percent, John Edwards [up from 6] at 20, Dean [down from 27] at 15 percent, others get 6 while 3 percent remain undecided.
In California, next month, Kerry has 49 percent [up from 31], Dean with 18 [down from 26], Edwards has 12, Clark at 8, others with 9 and 5 percent are undecided.
In Ohio, next month, Kerry has 44, Dean has 15, Edwards at 14, Clark at 6, others have 7 percent and 4 percent are undecided.
In Georgia, next month, Kerry has 30 percent, Dean and Edwards at 15, Clark with 9, others at 11 with 5 percent are undecided.
Zogby has new numbers out of Michigan: Kerry 47, Dean 10, Edwards 8, Clark 4, Sharpton 2, and Kucinich at 1 percent.

Other stuff:
Worst corporations of last year: ["Top 10 Worst Corporations of 2003"].

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

John Kerry - 99,154 - 42.6 percent [30 delegates]
Wesley Clark - 61,936 - 26.6 percent
Howard Dean - 32,398 - 13.9 percent
John Edwards - 16,208 - 7 percent
Joe Lieberman - 15,633 - 6.7 percent
Dennis Kucinich - 3,749 - 1.6 percent
Al Sharpton - 1,165 - 0.5 percent
Dick Gephardt - 747 - 0.3 percent
Carol Moseley Braun - 320 - 0.1 percent
Lyndon LaRouche - 291 - 0.1 percent
Dianne Barker - 256 - 0.1 percent
Bill Wyatt - 232 - 0.1 percent
Keith Brand - 220 - 0.1 percent
Fern Penna - 206 - 0.1 percent
William Barchilon - 134 - 0.1 percent
Huda Muhammad - 119 - 0.1 percent
Evelynn Vitullo - 116 - 0.1 percent
Ray Caplette - 77

John Kerry - 16,729 - 50.5 percent
Joe Lieberman - 3,683 - 11.1 percent
John Edwards - 3,657 - 11 percent
Howard Dean - 3,439 - 10.4 percent
Wesley Clark - 3,145 - 9.5 percent
Al Sharpton - 1,885 - 5.7 percent
Dennis Kucinich - 343 - 1 percent
Dick Gephardt - 187 - 0.6 percent
Lyndon LaRouche - 78 - 0.2 percent

John Kerry - 211,737 - 50.6 percent
John Edwards - 103,188 - 24.7 percent
Howard Dean - 36,305 - 8.7 percent
Wesley Clark - 18,328 - 4.4 percent
Joe Lieberman - 14,726 - 3.5 percent
Al Sharpton - 14,312 - 3.4 percent
Dick Gephardt - 8,306 - 2 percent
Dennis Kucinich - 4,876 - 1.2 percent
Uncommitted - 4,316 - 1 percent
Carol Moseley Braun - 1,804 - 0.3 percent
Lyndon LaRouche - 1,027 - 0.2 percent
Fern Penna - 342 - 0.1 percent
George Bush - 117,124 - 95.1 percent
Uncommitted - 3,834 - 3.1 percent
Bill Wyatt - 1,273 - 1 percent
Blake Ashby - 986 - 0.8 percent
Gary Nolan - 874 - 45.2 percent
Uncommitted - 744 - 38.5 percent
Ruben Perez - 164 - 8.5 percent
Jeffrey Diket - 152 - 7.9 percent

New Mexico
John Kerry - 40,964 - 39 percent
Wesley Clark - 19,838 - 19 percent
Howard Dean - 15,854 - 15 percent
John Edwards - 10,953 - 10 percent
Dennis Kucinich - 5,365 - 5 percent
Joe Lieberman - 2,520 - 2 percent
Dick Gephardt - 683 - 1 percent
Uncommitted - 460 - 1 percent
Fern Penna - 77

North Dakota
John Kerry - 5,366 - 51 percent
Wesley Clark - 2,502 - 24 percent
Howard Dean - 1,231 - 12 percent
John Edwards - 1,025 - 10 percent
Dennis Kucinich - 308 - 3 percent
Joe Lieberman - 98 - 1 percent
Al Sharpton - 28 - 0 percent

Wesley Clark - 90,453 - 29.9 percent
John Edwards - 89,234 - 29.5 percent
John Kerry - 81,015 - 26.8 percent
Joe Lieberman - 19,678 - 6.5 percent
Howard Dean - 12,728 - 4.2 percent
Al Sharpton - 3,939 - 1.3 percent
Dennis Kucinich - 2,544 - 0.8 percent
Dick Gephardt - 1,890 - 0.6 percent
Lyndon LaRouche - 688 0.2 percent
George W. Bush - 59,562 - 90 percent
Bill Wyatt - 6,622 - 10 percent

South Carolina 70 percent:
John Edwards - 82,589 - 45 percent
John Kerry - 55,411 - 30 percent
Sharpton - 18,179 - 10 percent
Clark - 13,643 - 7 percent
Dean - 8,908 - 5 percent
Lieberman - 4,773 - 3 percent
Kucinich - 867

Delegate count
John Kerry - 260
Howard Dean - 121
John Edwards - 107
Wesley Clark - 81
Al Sharpton - 6
Dennis Kucinich - 2
Lieberman quits
MSNBC is reporting that Joe Lieberman will drop out of the presidential race.
John Kerry wins Missouri, Arizona, North Dakota, and Delaware.
John Edwards wins South Carolina.
Oklahoma too close to call. New Mexico has no results yet.
Groundhog Day primary predictions

My predictions so far have been way off but here are a few more:

Delaware: Lieberman 24, Kerry 23, Edwards 19, Dean 14, Clark 12, Sharpton 7, Kucinich 1

South Carolina: Edwards 34, Kerry 25, Sharpton 18, Clark 12, Dean 6, Lieberman 3, Kucinich 1, Others 1

Missouri: Kerry 40, Edwards 27, Dean 9, Clark 8, Sharpton 7, Lieberman6, Kucinich 3

North Dakota: Clark 31, Kerry 29, Dean 20, Edwards 10, Lieberman 6, Kucinich 2, Sharpton 1, Others 1

Oklahoma: Clark 29, Kerry 28, Lieberman 19, Edwards 17, Dean 5, Kucinich 1, Sharpton 1

New Mexico: Dean 29, Kerry 27, Clark 19, Edwards 10, Lieberman 8, Kucinich 5, Sharpton 1, Others 1

Arizona: Kerry 30, Clark 25, Dean 20, Edwards 29, Lieberman 14, Kucinich 1 Sharpton 1

Monday, February 2, 2004

Kerry-Edwards 2004?
Will it be a John Kerry/John Edwards ticket? Some are speculating, including the Kerry campaign, which has strategically leaked that Edwards is on Kerry's short list: ["Kerry and Edwards are possible ticket"]. But Edwards says "no": ["Edwards rules out vice-president role"].
Oh how the paradigm shifts. It was just a month ago when Kerry's campaign was sputtering and Dean had the nomination locked up without one vote being cast. Kerry was even challenging Dean to a one-on-one debate on "Meet the Press." Dean balked. Now, it is Kerry acting all cocky, talking about the short list, even though less than 10 percent of the delegates have been chosen - and Dean agrees to a challenge on "Meet the Press."
But back to Edwards as vice president.
Riley Yates over at the Union Leader had a really good overview on the VP story yesterday, noting that over 17,000 New Hampshire voters picked Edwards for the number 2 slot: ["NH Dems like Edwards for V.P."]. Unlike other states, New Hampshire allows voters to "write-in" the VP nominee. On the Republican ballot, two candidates openly ran for the position. The complete results are posted here: ["2004 Presidential Primary"]. Other names not compiled but mentioned in Yates' article included Jimmy Carter, Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, Bill Bradley, Tom Brady, Clint Eastwood, Dick Clark, Jerry Springer, Michael Moore, Mickey Mouse and Homer Simpson.

Lieberman gets three more
Three more newspapers have endorsed Joe Lieberman: The State of Columbia, South Carolina, the Greenville News, and The Seattle Times of Washington.

Clark gets two
The Lawton Constitution and the Norman Transcript both of Oklahoma endorsed Wesley Clark.

Other states:
In Missouri, Gephardt's support gets split while others remain neutral: [" Kerry, Edwards split up Gephardt's base"].
So much for Kerry fighting the "special interests": ["Kerry no stranger to lobbyists' donations"].
Dean finally plays hardball with Kerry: ["Dean blasts Mass. pol"].
And Kerry punches back: ["Kerry Fires Back at Dean Charges of Cronyism"].

The primaries:
New Hampshire's very high turnout might secure its "First in the Nation" status. But others think not: ["High turnout boosted N.H.'s primary status, but critics push for change"]. The Union Leader wasn't happy with McAuliffe's threat: ["Blackmail NH?"]. And yet other people have their thinking caps on for the future: ["A modest proposal to reschedule the Democratic primaries"].

Polls say it's Kerry's to lose:
American Research Group has numbers from Feb. 3 states:
In Arizona, John Kerry is up to 32 percent, Wesley Clark remains steady at 21 percent, John Edwards slips down to 11 percent, Howard Dean remains level at 10 percent, Joe Lieberman comes in at 9 and Dennis Kucinich has 1 percent. 16 percent are undecided.
In Missouri, Kerry has 46 percent, Edwards has 15 percent, Dean is at 7 percent, Clark comes in with 6 percent, Lieberman has 3 percent, with Kucinich and Sharpton both have 1 percent.
In Delaware, Lieberman loses his lead: Kerry at 27 percent, Lieberman at 16 percent, Dean with 14 percent, Edwards at 9 percent, Clark at 8 percent, with Kucinich and Sharpton at 1 percent.
The Fargo Forum in North Dakota published a poll by the Minnesota State University showing Kerry with 31 percent, Clark with 15 percent, Edwards with 6 percent, Dean with 5 percent, Lieberman with 2 percent, and Kucinich with 1 percent. A staggering 40 percent said they were undecided.
In Oklahoma, Clark is still in the lead with 25, Kerry comes in at 23, Edwards has 18 percent, with Dean and Lieberman at 8, and Kucinich and Sharpton at 1 percent. 16 percent are undecided.
In South Carolina, Edwards has a solid lead with 30, Kerry 23, Clark 12, Sharpton down to 10, Dean at 9, Lieberman 3, and at Kucinich 1 percent. Undecided are 12 percent.
Survey USA also has two new polls:
In Oklahoma, Clark has 31 percent, Kerry 25, Edwards at 23 percent, Dean with 9, and the others with 9 percent. Undecided only make up 3 percent.
In Delaware, Kerry is smokin': Kerry at 42 percent, with Dean 12, Edwards 11, Lieberman 10, and Clark and Sharpton at 9 percent. Others make up 2 percent and 4 remain undecided.