Alex's Outlook

Monday, January 19, 2004

Kerry wins

At least I got Kerry right!

Kerry - 38
Edwards - 32
Dean - 18
Gephardt - 11

Apparently the more moderately left-of-center mainstream of the Democrats completely rejected Dean's liberalism.

Gephardt, almost as liberal as Dean, has already decided to quit the race. He will probably wait for a Labor secretaryship in the now remotely possible event of a Democratic triumph in 2004.

Kerry will vault into NH with a lot of momentum. Ditto for Edwards in South Carolina. The question is, where does this put Clark? Some people see Clark as Kerry without the hauteur, and others see Kerry as Clark without the GOP baggage, and more impressive generally. I think this helps out Kerry a lot more than it seems, because many Democrats will now be faced with Kerry, the bona fide liberal his entire life, versus Clark, the conservative who changed colors in 2002. Kerry arguably has better "patriotic" credentials because of his three Vietnam wounds; Clark was essentially fired from his position.

Dean will probably try to sprint back to the middle, but this was a significant defeat for him. A week ago he was the undisputed frontrunner; today he placed a distant third. At least 61% of Iowa voters voted for electability over Dean-ism.

At first I was a little bummed out, that the Democrats had regained their sense of electability and turned Dean down. But now Bush won't be able to pander to the center, and he will have to pay more respect to his base, which he hasn't been doing much of (other than tax cuts). Maybe it will be a 52-47 or 51-48 election after all. Or maybe Dean could win NH and stir the pot again. Who knows?


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