Sunday, January 18, 2004

Report From the Front
With very little fanfare, Salon has launched a blog called War Room 2004, which will track political news. One of its interesting features is a subscriber-only poll question, which is currently, "Who will drop out of the Democratic race next?" Keeping in mind that such polls are unscientific and often just this side of useless, the results (as of the time of this post) are still surprising:

Lieberman 25.92%
Dean 25.89%
Kucinich 21.57%
Clark 11.77%
Sharpton 6.77%
Kerry 3.45%
Gephardt 3.25%
Edwards 1.27%

Given that Salon's coverage of Dean has been strongly supportive, and you can presume that many of Salon's readers are Dean-friendly, these numbers are odd. Anybody who stops to do the political arithmetic should be able to see, among other things, that Gephardt is finished if he doesn't win tomorrow, but none of the others face a choice that stark, and won't until after February 3 at the earliest. I believe Sharpton and Kucinich may stay in it until the convention because their campaigns are not about actually winning the nomination.

Additionally, I have to wonder if there's an omen in Edwards' strong showing. He's been rising in Iowa the last week, and maybe, as I speculated a while back, voters are tired of the sniping between Dean and Gephardt and are moving to someone else entirely.

(Late addition: the Daily Kos has further speculation on the impact of negative attacks on those doing the attacking.)

Recommended reading: Also from Salon, Rich Proctor intercepts a secret Bush campaign memo to the media on how to spin Howard Dean.

Also, I think Matt Taibbi is kidding about what the Democrats should do on foreign policy. Maybe. You be the judge.

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