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

Wednesday | October 08, 2003

Cattle Call 2004: 10/8

last rankings: 1) Dean, 2) Clark, 3) Gephardt, 4) Edwards, 5) Kerry, 6) Lieberman, 7) Graham, 8) Braun, 9) Sharpton, and 10) Kucinich.

1. Howard Dean
$15 million and no sign of slowing. Now leads the money race in all relevant categories -- amount raised, cash on hand, number of donors, etc. He's still drawing the big crowds, and has gotten a reprieve the past several weeks as the other candidates train their guns on Clark.

2. Wesley Clark
One of the problems of entering the race so late is that every stumble is amplified. All campaigns had growing pains, but they did so months ago when few were paying attention. Not to mention the other campaigns had plenty of time to recover from such problems.

Within the last two weeks, Clark has been put on the defensive by charges that he was a recent Republican (to which he has responded quite capably), that he is still a registered lobbyist (proof, in my view, that he literally made up his mind to run at the very last minute), that he is violating FEC regulations by talking about his campaign at paid speaking engagements (not good -- why is he still doing these?), and that he's vague on the issues (worked for Arnold).

Furthermore, his campaign is reportedly in turmoil, with tensions within the Draft Movements still no under control, the resignation of his campaign manager, and a vicious (and public) power struggle as the Washington consultants led by Fabiani take control of the campaign. Inside baseball, perhaps. It sure won't affect Clark's ability to garner voter support. But donors and establishment types are clearly watching to see if Clark can right the ship.

$3.5 million in two weeks is pretty darn good. Less than $5 million Dean raised in that same time period, but probably more than most of the other candidates raised in the entire quarter. Gave an excellent speech at the DNC meeting. Probably benefits most from Graham leaving.

3. Dick Gephardt
Continues to garner the support of various unions, but the two biggest (and hence the AFL-CIO endorsement) elude him. Has aggressively attacked Dean on Medicare, though I still don't get a sense whether it's helping him or not.

Still hasn't released any Q3 fundraising numbers, which suggests they will not shine. But he has arrested Dean's momentum in Iowa, keeping that race a virtual tossup.

4. John Edwards
Quiet last couple of week, but has been on an upswing. Still has the best chance of challenging Clark as the anti-Dean. In fact, Edwards has trained his guns at Clark, since both candidates need to win SC desperately.

5. John Kerry
I've got nothing. Sorry. It's as if there's a media blackout on his campaign.

6. Joe Lieberman
Should follow Graham's lead.

7. Carol Moseley-Braun
No debate, hence she's invisible.

9. Dennis Kucinich
Should also follow Graham's lead.

9. Al Sharpton
His campaign is reportedly in trouble. I'm not sure why -- it's not like the guy is under any real pressure like the top tier candidates.

Posted October 08, 2003 09:21 AM | Comments (180)


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