Friday, January 30, 2004

The weekend before the final hour

Last night's debate, for the most part, was just like the New Hampshire debate about a week ago. While Dean tried to draw some blood, by pointing out that Kerry hasn't done anything in his 20 years in the Senate, Kerry snidely said that he knew how to get things done in Congress-- by letting other other Senator's take the credit for what he's done. The beauty of Dean's attack is that it reminds everyone that Kerry is a Senator, because then he can stupidly boast "I wrote the legislation that..." Who cares? Presidents are supposed to do things, and writing legislation is not one of them. That is why people pick Governors and Generals over Senators and Congressmen, they get things done. Still no knockout punches for anyone, everyone looked pretty good. I guess having more time due to Mosley Braun and Gephardt gone really raises the level. Can't wait until 2 more leave.

Who might that be? Lieberman and maybe even Edwards. MSNBC/Zogby polls shows that Kerry holds big leads in Missouri, Arizona, and is tied for 1st in South Carolina. So what happens if he wins all those? Well, amazingly enough, Clark could be sitting pretty. With Edwards gone (if he lost SC), the General could assume his place as "Washington outsider and bootstraps southerner" AND he would be the only other guy to win on 2/3 (assuming Delaware goes to Kerry or Clark and not Lieberman) besides Kerry with his win in Oklahoma (Clark is leading Kerry 27 to 19%) and second place finish in Arizona (currently Kerry's 38% to Clark's 17%). New Mexico is currently a tossup from what I have seen, but I would guess Kerry gets it based on being a 2-time winner.

Even though Dean would still be waiting for them in Michigan and Wisconsin, Clark wasn't expecting to do well on there on the 7th anyway. With Kerry and Dean duking it out, Clark has two possible approaches: either he squeeze through the middle of their tussle and wins (very unlikely) or he just focuses on Tennessee and Virginia (more likely) trying to win there to stay in the hunt. If he pulls that off and Dean loses again, it would be down Kerry and Clark essentially. I don't expect Dean to drop out until March 2nd however, since he could still win NY and CA if he is still reasonably viable.

It looks like Sharpton has sunk a lot (to 5%) in SC since Congressman Jim Clyburn endorsed Kerry, but Clark is still way back (8%), will he forget about the Palmento State? His Blues Traveler concert got canceled due to the weather and Clark's plane troubles (touched down in SC to refuel but couldn't go on due to mandatory rest for the pilots, so he had to move on to the next event in Oklahoma). Only time will tell.

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