Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Not Inevitable

Let me agree with Digby, who writes in the comments to his post here, that the Dean is not the inevitable nominee, and not even close.

Dean is justiably called the frontrunner now, due to his performance in national (meaningless, but mostly all we have) and key state polls, but he's far from running away from this thing. I think Iowa and New Hampshire are going to be much less important than they even usually are (which is hardly at all - it just gives the lazy media a way to tell a simple story and make the lead up to them "exciting). Dean will possibly have a lousy Super Tuesday on February 3rd. And, given the way the delegates are being awarded this year - no winner take all and by congressional district - even a popular win in a state can translate into a small or even nonexistent delegate lead (I'm not gonna buy into any Grand Superdelegate Conspiracies for the moment).

There isn't much polling data for most states other than NH and and Iowa. Dean's doing horribly in South Carolina, the next "important state." If Dean manages to run a good campaign for the other Super Tuesday states - Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Delaware, Missouri, North Dakota - then we'll have a serious race.

Momentum matters, but Iowa and New Hampshire aren't really enough. Win those and get blown out on Feb. 3rd and the story will suddenly be "Big Loser Dean - How'd he Screw It All Up?"