Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Five out of seven, seven of nine, tough numbers to beat in the Democratic presidential primary. Nonetheless, Kerry supporters like myself are still on eggshells, because there's still Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Maine, Tennessee, and Virginia coming up. Kerry will do well in all these states, the question is will he win and by what margin?

One good thing is that the money is going to start chasing Kerry now and Clark will have a hard time trying to convince the money people that his is a viable candidacy. There simply is little rational for his candidacy. He came into the race to dethrone Dean, but Dean took care of that, now he has no clear claim to fame. His line that he is not a professional politician ensconced in Washington is not resonnating because the voters are looking for electability and experience.

Noteworthy about yesterdays primary is that Kerry got 50% of the Black vote and Edwards barely beat him out on the Black vote in SC. What this means is that Kerry connects in some way with the Black community. This was one of my concerns, how Kerry would wear with the community. I had the inkling that he would do well, but it is hard to shake the memories of Clinton.

Kerry, vis a vis the Black community strikes me this way. Kerry is not one of the savior types who comes to the Black community and pats us on the head and tells us that we should relax, he'll fight for us. Rather, I see him more in a fight/war metaphor. We are part of his crew, we've got our guns, we are locked and loaded and he'll lead but he expects that everyone will pull their weight and watch each other's back. That's my take on him.

Michigan shouldn't be too hard. Kerry will win with 40-50% of the vote. The media buys are so expensive that Dean and Edwards are not going to be able to make big splashes to make a substantial dent in Kerry's 50% poll numbers. Washington, will winnow out Howard Dean. I am not convinced that he is going to show. The state has a strong environmental movement. The League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Kerry and will put foot soldiers and mailings to work for Kerry. Very timely independent expenditures. Kerry will also blanket the airwaves. If Kerry can dominate the weekend in Maine, Washington, and Michigan, so much so that the numbers for Dean look as bad as they did yesterday, Dean would have a very difficult time providing a rationale for support. For one the SEIU and ACFSME will need to reassess their allegiance because they are beginnng to look foolish in sticking with Dean. Kerry has completely embarassed the union political muscle with his IA and NH wins and those unions need to line up behind a winner to restore the glimmer and luster of credibility again.

Virginia and Tennessee are interesting. Harold Ford has been a long time Kerry supporter, and that's his home turf. It would be great if Kerry could win here, but that is going to be tough. But it Kerry did a bus tour through the state and splashed with ads featuring Ford in Memphis, Kerry just might pull through. Clark is making a stand here, but one interesting thing about Clark is that Clark did not place at all in SC, even though he hyped the southern roots thing. The other thing is that Rep. Rangel and Clinton aura notwithstanding, Clark barely touched the Black vote in SC. So something about him is not connecting. I think in TN, the Black vote will split between Kerry and Edwards and with Ford, I'd bet on Kerry, but it'll be close.


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