Monday, February 16, 2004

Waiting for the Surge
I don't know if this means anything, but it's interesting. A group of students at Marquette University in Milwaukee watched the Democratic debate last night. Before the debate, the preference percentages of the group went like this:

Kerry 20
Edwards 18
Dean 18
Kucinich 9
Sharpton 1

Afterward, the group's preferences looked like this:

Edwards 35
Dean 17
Kerry 12
Sharpton 10
Kucinich 9

The most we can say for sure is it means that Edwards won the debate among the student audience. Don't know if we dare extrapolate it to a late Edwards (or Sharpton) surge statewide--the poll I linked to this morning didn't show it. If anything, that poll showed a bit of a surge for Dean, who has been having a good week (if you don't count the defection of his campaign chairman to Kerry), raising his positive ratings versus his negatives, which have been in the tank since the Iowa debacle.

There's still a big ABK vote out there (Anybody But Kerry, in blogspeak), but as long as it's split, it's ineffectual. If Dean should finish second in Wisconsin about where this morning's Zogby poll has him, that would give him an excuse to go on to Super Tuesday--but should he? What if Dean dropped out after Wisconsin--but threw his support to Edwards? As ideas go, it's not that loony. Edwards, for all his faults, is miles closer to Dean's fundamental stance than Kerry is--that our government needs not just a change of leaders but a change in philosophy. And it would make Super Tuesday a hell of a lot more fun.

Today's VP speculation: former Clinton treasury secretary Robert Rubin (or, alternately, Virginia governor Mark Warner, or Bob Graham), Wesley Clark, and most incredible of all, Jim Doyle. As for the latter, two words: uh, no.

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