Friday | June 13, 2003
How they could win: Kerry
Welcome to Part II of the six-part series "how they can win", featuring the six "serious" candidates: Dean, Edwards, Gephardt, Graham, Kerry and Lieberman.
For purposes of this scenario building, I'm assuming all six candidates are running strong, without the presence of a major scandal or foot-in-mouth incident.
This edition features Kerry, the self-annointed "front-runner" of the pack.
Thus, the real battle will be for second place, and it's clearly between Dean and Kerry. Note that this isn't a must-win for either candidate, but the second-place winner will get precious momentum for that all-important week preceeding the NH primary. And NH is a *must* win.
New Hampshire: 1.27
Ironically, the third place finisher in NH will be seen as more of a "winner" than the second place finisher. Funny thing, these primaries.
So Kerry wins NH. This essentially takes Dean out of the running (though perhaps not entirely, as I'll further explore when I get to Dean).
South Carolina, Delaware, Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma: 2.2
Michigan, Washington (caucus): 2.7
It's clear, then, that Kerry needs to decisively knock out Dean as early as possible (which explains why the two camps are at each other's throats). Otherwise, every "liberal" state becomes a vicious battle between the two "liberal" candidates, while the "moderate" survivor sneaks through virtually unnoticed.
But since we're trying to get Kerry to the finish line, let's assume Dean gets knocked out of the race. This day would probably be a wash -- Kerry gets Maine, the "moderate" candidate gets Michigan. If Kerry could win Michigan as well, it might signal the end of the race. But lets be conservative and assume a split.
Virginia, District of Columbia, Tennessee: 2.10
(Incidentally, I know DC has far less delegates than VA or TN, but the press will report a 2-2 split. Just watch. They'll tackle the race as though it was a baseball game, and delegate counts can get a little messy.)
Idaho: 2.24 and Utah: 2.27
Why are WI, ID, and UT being ignored? Because all of the candidates' time and money are being poured into:
California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, North Dakota, Washington (primary): 3.2
And a well-funded Kerry, facing a more moderate opponent, should have a good day. Mighty California? Easy Kerry victory. Same with Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, RI, Vermont, Hawaii and Washington.
Bottom line: To win, it's critical Kerry knock out Dean early. That would allow him to carry the torch for the party's liberal wing in a schedule quite honestly frontloaded with liberal states.
Now, if by some bizarre twist of events Dean and Kerry are the last two candidates standing (unlikely but possible), Kerry would still win (thanks to $$$).Posted June 13, 2003 09:10 AM | Comments (103)