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

Wednesday | August 20, 2003

Cattle Call 2004: 8/20

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

Three major polls this week: the latest ARG numbers out of NH, and national polls by Insider Advantage and Fox News.

1. Howard Dean
Solid results in latest ARG NH poll. Has had to weather "controversy" over his campaign's support for public funding. But let's be serious. If Dean can raise more than $45 million all the way through the year until the convention, then he would be essentially obligated to reject public financing lest he get hit by $200+ million in Bush attack ads without the means of fighting back.

And that goes the same for every candidate in the race. If Bush was abiding by the limits, then I would prefer public financing, but we can't unilaterally disarm against Bush. And yes, Dean's earlier warnings to his rival to stick to the limits was unwise. This is about beating Bush, and we'll need all the money we can get.

Oh, and the fact the Dean campaign is even considering lifting the limits means they must be raising serious cash.

2. Dick Gephardt
Solid numbers in NH, where he appears to be static but steady. All he needs is a third place finish to declare victory, and right now, he would claim that prize. He's continuing to lead in the union endorsement game, but that's to be expected. It's actually bigger news when he doesn't snag a union than when he does.

But his biggest boost? The loss of jobs is becoming a big issue, especially now that service sector jobs (like programming) are being lost as well. This should play into his hands nicely.

3. Joe Lieberman
The "brilliance" of his Sister Souljah moment on the entire Democratic primary electorate was lost on the voters, and he was punished handily in the latest ARG poll. His ticket to relevance is a third-place finish in NH, but Gephardt has that locked. Of course, Gep could loose Iowa, knocking him out of the race, but the latest poll doesn't give confidence Lieberman could take third-place in that eventuality.

Right now, it's far more likely Gep wins Iowa than Lieberman takes third in NH, and as such, he takes a hit. Lucky for him Kerry is doing so poorly in NH, otherwise Lieberman would've settled into the fourth slot.

4. John Kerry
Relatively quiet week. Much ado about nothing regarding his "Gore invented the Internet thing". I think it's silly that people criticize him for "copying Dean" by starting a weblog and other web tools. If I had it my way, every candidate of every party would use these tools. It's the path to truly participatory Democracy and it's a good thing. So, his campaign has every right to use the tools, and indeed, an obligation.

That said, they can (and should) be criticized for clumsy initial efforts. But at least they're trying and that's ultimately a good thing.

That said, it appears the Kerry campaign is gearing up for its Labor Day announcement. I'm suspecting he won't get the rise the Kerry Campaign hopes for. If a Clark announcement happens in the next couple of weeks (as is likely), it'll blow the winds out of Kerry's sails. And he has to compete against the Governator out in California. That'll be tough.

5. John Edwards
First ad buy upped his name ID in NH but added no support. Given the "retail politics" nature of both IA and NH, it seems to me that ads alone will not be enough to boost his numbers, he'll have to build a grassroots organization. That he hasn't is damaging his chances.

6. Graham
I would kill to see what his journal says for this past week, since I have nothing to say about his campaign. I do feel he has hurt his Veep chances with his listless campaign. Suddenly Florida's other Democratic senator (Nelson) looks like a much better option.

Still, I'd still rather not surrender a seat to the GOP.

7. Al Sharpton
No candidate forum, thus no up arrow.

8. Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich is jumping up and down trying to get noticed, but is consistently ignored.

9. Carol Moseley-Braun
No candidate forum, thus no up arrow.

Others: Clark is almost certainly running.

Note: One of the features of Scoop (which will hopefully come online in a few weeks) is community moderation. Things have been getting a little out of control in the boards, with supporters of certain candidates attacking others. If this board is hijacked by similar crap, I will put the Cattle Call on hiatus until scoop arrives. Then I will grant Mike S the power to ban those "eating our own". Don't force me to take drastic measures.

The guy you want to bash today may be our nominee. You don't want your words used against you when you do support that candidate, do you?

Posted August 20, 2003 02:28 PM | Comments (294)


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