Wednesday, February 04, 2004

1,275 Oklahomans CAN be wrong

I just had to use that heading. I'm irritated both by the result and by its coverage and wanted to vent. I also realize that I'm the only non-Dean supporter here and that Dean did worse than my guy last night, so my sour grapes may not be as lip-puckering as some others'. Bear with me. By all rights, I shouldn't complain anyway; Edwards won S.C. big, was a somewhat surprisingly strong second in Missouri, got double digits in 6 of 7 and shot up from a distant 3d to a very close 2d in Oklahoma. On the other hand, yesterday was the second Tuesday in a row I watched Clark edge out Edwards. I'm really hoping there is no third.

Had the 1,275 gone the other way last night, Clark is history. This would have been good news for Edwards and, I think, good for Dean as well. Two salient bits of analysis from the talking heads last night: From (I think) Jeff Greenfield: The three non-Kerry candidates are all fighting for the mantle of outsider to Kerry's insider; and from new analyst Joe Trippi: If this gets down to a two-man race before Super Tuesday, whether it is Kerry-Edwards, Kerry-Clark, or Kerry-Dean, either man has a shot. If there are still three or more left at that point, Kerry waltzes to the nomination barring a major screwup. As a guy whose been in the game for 25 years, the possibility of Kerry screwing up is unlikely. He is comfortable riding the positive feedback loop of winning races because people think he's the most electable and being considered the most electable because he's winning races. He needed only to win Iowa to get himself into the loop (which Dean was in until his screwups). Each day there is a fractured field opposing him is a day he's closer to the nomination.

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