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Monday | June 30, 2003

Dean's numbers "stun" opposition

Many of you wondered why Dean Campaign Manager Joe Trippi would release Dean's Q2 numbers prematurely, before the quarter was finished.

Stories like this one are the reason.

"He'll beat everybody," Steve Elmendorf, a senior adviser to Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, said of Dr. Dean.

Dr. Dean's strong showing seems certain to cause a problem for some congressmen who are running for president in particular, Mr. Gephardt and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who had weak financial showings in the first quarter. Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Lieberman were looking to strong showings in the next report to erase any concerns among Democrats about their viability.

Several Democrats said that Dr. Dean's success posed a particular problem to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, since the men have been competing for many of the same voters and since it could undercut Mr. Kerry's effort to present himself as the front-runner.

Not only does the press, on a slow news day, get to write about Dean being a "top tier" candidate and otherwise praise his campaign operation, but it also gets to talk about how the other candidates are in trouble.

This is just proof that Dean's got the best campaign operation around. It's not my biases (though I'm sure some of you will scream about that), but the 40,000+ meetup people. It's the thousands that show up for his rallies in Texas, California, Arizona, Vermont, and the rest of the nation. None of the other candidates have shown even a sliver of that enthusiastic support.

It's $6+ million. If no one else can match those numbers (I'm assuming Gephardt's guy quoted above isn't privvy to every candidate's Q2 numbers), then the field may start shrinking a lot sooner. The press is obviously itching to push forth the "Senators in trouble" meme if their results don't come close. There may even be some early casualties as a result.

Of course, Edwards took top honors in Q1 and it did him little good. But that was really early. The press is starting to pick its "contenders", and the Q2 results will go far in determining who is a player, and who will be an "also-ran".

Posted June 30, 2003 01:58 AM | Comments (257)





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