Wednesday, February 18, 2004

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

Adios Dr. Dean.

What now? Pundits are pondering the potential of a Dean-Edwards alliance, which might really throw a spanner in the works of John Kerry's campaign, but I doubt it.

Maxspeak thinks the demise of Dean may liberate some erstwhile Kucinich supporters who had heretofore opted for Dean out of pragmatism (the oxymoron of pragmatic Kucinich supporters aside).

Despite the close results in WI, the two way horse race is a figment of the media's imagination and need for a horse race story. Look at the exit poll results:

45% of Edwards voters were Republicans (Wisconsin has open primaries), which goes a long way to explain Edwards' mushrooming numbers in Tuesday's primary (as opposed to Edwards reigniting a Democratic base).

Granted even these Republican-bloated results creates a psychological effect that will boost Edwards supporters in upcoming Super Tuesday states and will spur a wave of fundraising in the coming days, his performance with Democrats does not bode well for future contests that are not open primaries (like most of those on Super Tuesday). But more importantly, the close result provides the media a hook with which to spin stories about a resurgent Edwards.

It's all good, though. The more the contest for the Democrat's nominee is dragged out, the more Democratic voters will be invigorated and the more earned media exposure Democrat candidates will get bashing Bush.

**UPDATE--Correction: I was a bit hasty in claiming that none of the Super Tuesday states are open primaries. I have it on good authority from a political hack friend that 7 of the ten states on Super Tuesday have primaries open to Dems and Independents but not registered Republicans, while the other three are open only to registered Democrats.

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