Thursday, January 29, 2004
Go West JK
Post debate wrap-up: I think Edwards is going to start feeding on Clark’s vote in South Carolina. After hearing the debate, Clark sounds terrible. This guy has to go, you can’t run against Rove’s machine with his lack of experience. It would be a disaster for the Dems.
In the debate however, Sharpton did well with his core constituency and will probably do well enough to reach the 15% mark in SC. This will hurt Kerry’s chances to win the state since due to endorsements Sharpton votes should go to Kerry.
Does the media pounce on Kerry if he doesn’t win South Carolina and loses maybe one more state especially if that other state is in the West? The rap will be that Kerry can’t win in either the West or South. If Kerry just loses South Carolina, I don't think it is a big deal. Just don't focus on Edwards' "must win" state and lose one of the western states.
The fact is, Kerry made a mistake when he misspoke about Democrats not having to win a Southern state even though he was right. This could cost him enough votes in SC to allow Edwards a win. Very reminiscent of Dean's 2000 blasting of the Iowa caucus which resurfacing one week before this year's caucus...
A better strategy would be for Kerry not to go for the knock-out punch on the 3rd, but instead focus on winning the West (Arizona and New Mexico). Up to this point, Kerry has surprised each time because his campaign relentlessly set expectations low. Why be so risky now?
Kerry will still play in the South, but lets wait until Tennessee or a later state.
Dan Conley, a fellow Southerner, has a great blog today on Kerry's 2/3 "shock and awe" campaign strategy and the associated pitfalls. Sadly, I think his analysis is right on. Dan believes if Kerry doesn't fight too hard in South Carolina, Edwards would just get a token win and may not get much of a bounce out of it.