Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | July 03, 2003

Cattle Call 2004: 7/3

Last week's rankings: 1) Kerry, 2) Dean, 3) Gephardt, 4) Edwards, 5) Lieberman, 6) Kucinich, 7) Graham, 8) Sharpton, and 9) Moseley-Braun.

Q2 Numbers (latest estimates):

Dean: $7.5 million
Kerry: $6 million
Edwards: $5 million
Lieberman: $5 million
Gephardt: $4.5 million
Graham: $2-3 million
Kucinich: $1 million
Latest poll:
(2000 caucus goers. MOE 5.4%!)
Gephardt: 21 %
Dean: 20%
Kerry: 18%

(3-time caucus goers. MOE 4.0%)
Gephardt: 25%
Dean: 15%
Kerry: 15%
Lieberman: 11%

This week's rankings:

1. Howard Dean
Yup, he deserves top dog status. $7.5 million when everyone expected $3 million will do that to a candidate. Every other candidate is talking about Dean. The press is talking about Dean. Events in Iraq are supporting Dean's war stance, while the Supreme Court's ruling on Sodomy Laws vindicates his civil unions stance. Heck, even his much-maligned MTP appearance was a catalyst for his unbelievable fundraising numbers.

And word from the campaign is that money continued to pour into the campaign via the web even after the Q2 period ended (though obviously not at a clip of $600,000/day!).

Of course, now every other candidate is training his guns on Dean. One interesting advantage Dean has -- the GOP thinks (erroneously) that Dean would be the easiest candidate to face in the general. So expect the Mighty Wurlitzer to take a pass on Dean for the moment.

2. John Kerry
Still leads in the must-win state of New Hampshire, and came in second with a solid $6 million Q2. Kerry also transferred $3 million from his Senate campaign coffers, giving him a solid war kitty to play with. Campaign Manager Jim Jordan may be clueless about the power of the Netroots, but he's been making a strategically sound effort to paint the race as a two-way between Kerry and Dean.

3. Dick Gephardt
Wasn't Gephardt supposed to be a fundraising juggernaut? Instead, he came in 5th. That's ugly. And has he forgotten his "checks and balances" civics lesson? Everyone should be scared when any candidate says he or she will use executive orders to overturn Supreme Court decisions with which they don't agree.

The latest Iowa poll capped a bad week for Gep. I'm suspicious of that poll -- the margin of errors are ridiculously high. But it doesn't help him on the "perception" front. After a few good months he's suddenly looking weak.

4. John Edwards
Steep drop in fundraising, but nothing terminal. He's fine. Campaign is banking that advertising blitz will pull his numbers up. Problem is, his ads will be competing with those of at least five other candidates. He still needs a solid ground operation to build on whatever name ID and support he can scrounge up via TV.

5. Joe Lieberman
Lowered expectations (as I suspected), and then declared victory with a mediocre $5 million haul. The tactic may stave off some of the "he can't raise money to save his life" talk, but not for long. As the leader in national name recognition and the former VP candidate, Lieberman should be cleaning up in the fundraising department. The fact he's languishing in the middle of the pack confirms my consistenly low rankings for his candidacy.

6. Dennis Kucinich
Raised $1 million. Congrats! Still, way too little to be taken seriously. He wants desperately to be the media annointed "insurgent", but he's got a ways to go before he's taken seriously enough for the role.

7. Graham
$2-3 million is low for a candidate that was supposed to sport fundraising prowess. He's made zero impact with activists. His explosive charges re: 9-11 have been essentially ignored.

He's viewed as a curiosity, which is never a good thing in politics.

8. Al Sharpton
No debates this week, so Sharpton was invisible.

9. Carol Moseley-Braun

Others: Biden and Clark.

Biden criticized Dean this week on Fox Sunday News, just after spending 10 minutes defending Bush's WMD claims and the prosecution of the war. And he thinks he would be viable as a Democratic candidate?

I've flip-flopped again on Clark -- I think it's more likely than not that he will run. Bill Clinton spoke warmly about a Clark candidacy -- words he hasn't offered any of the other candidates. In essence a de facto endorsement. The Draft Clark movement is kicking ass, and they're building the infrastructure that Clark would need to compete in the primary. Why not make use of it? Especially if it would raise his stock as a potential Veep candidate?

Posted July 03, 2003 10:12 AM


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