Wednesday, November 19, 2003
1) The national media has been relentlessly negative when it comes to Kerry. After the campaign turnover, I believe they are “looking” to write the story now about “how Kerry is now the comeback kid.” (The media is too predictable) Kerry is 10-15% off in New Hampshire, but only 5% off of Dean in IA. Iowa is the easiest place for Kerry to build momentum especially since Gep and Dean are going to be doing negative attacks against each other. By staying active in IA, Kerry can position himself as the visionary with the right temperament to heal the nation. If Kerry pulls even with Dean in Iowa in December, the media is going snowball the momentum for us.
2) Dean’s pundits have been arguing the “myth of inevitability” saying it is a done deal Dean is getting the nomination. This can easily be a two-edged sword. If Kerry passing Dean in Iowa putting the doctor into third place, the national media is going to go “crazy” with that story. Suddenly the media will be writing about how Kerry has the “buzz” and Dean campaign peaked too early and is in trouble. The number one rule in politics is to set the expectations low. If Dean slips to third in IA, the press is going to be brutal.
3) This scenario translates into negative press for Dean, positive press for Kerry and momentum from which Kerry can re-build in New Hampshire. As Kerry’s numbers start to climb in NH and Iowa, IA voters may look to him as the only chance to stop Dean and hand him a win not just a second place behind Gephardt. Optimistic yes, but the anti-Dean movement continues to grow. Even a second place finish in Iowa, a close second in NH would still keep Kerry in the hunt, since Dean isn’t even going to show in South Carolina (provided Kerry wins at least Delaware and either wins or at least places second in Arizona and South Carolina). Remember the PLEOs.
Anyone remember the Rock the Vote forum CNN held? I was just wondering about it. How much play did Anderson Cooper’s smirking remark about Gephardt being at “some backyard Iowa barbeque” get in the Iowa press. It would have seemed this would have endeared him to the voters there. Did it have anything to do with his bounce or was this not covered? Just wondering…