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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, April 07, 2003


Favorite Sons?

posted by Joe at Monday, April 07, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dean Campaign Director Joe Trippi has been pointing out lately that the "Howard Dean in 2004" Meet-up total for Boston, the heart of Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign and the city in which the Democratic nominee will be named, dwarfs the "John Kerry in 2004" total there. We at the not-official DeanBlog, being more free to poke fun and gloat (good-naturedly, of course) than the official Dean Call to Action Blog, bring you the following totals from on the state of the "net-roots" campaign for each candidate. All numbers are accurate as of the timestamp for this post.

Trippi is right about Boston -- Dean, with 524 members, is the single most popular Meet-up topic there, with twice as many people signed up as the next closest topic. As of this writing, Kerry has failed to break a hundred members in his hometown, with Meet-ups for the cultish fans of the emo band Dashboard Confessional and knitting enthusiasts threatening to overtake him.

In Connecticut, Dean is again the most popular Meet-up topic. Both in Hartford, where Sen. Joe Lieberman lives, and in Stamford, where he grew up, "Dean in 2004" -- at 82 and 59, respectively -- has about twice as many members as the second-place topic. "Lieberman in 2004" musters only one member in each city. This puts Senator Joe below not only Kerry's total in both towns (two and four, respectively), but also a range of topics from Xena: Warrior Princess to Icelandic pop princess Björk.

In Raleigh-Durham, the locale with the most Meet-up members in North Carolina, "Dean in 2004" is at the top of the list with 162 members. Sen. John Edwards pulls in at 43, with witches (41) and the ubiquitous knitters (38) on his heels.

Rep. Dick Gephardt trails not only Dean -- again the most popular Meet-up topic in the city, with 145 members -- but Kerry and Edwards, too, in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Gephardt, with four members, finds himself tied with Tool (no relation, so far as we know) and just ahead of soapmaking.

Predictably, the four establishment candidates mentioned above find their most supporters in Washington, DC (New York City tops the "Dean in 2004" list). Yet even Dean's total in Washington (906) is more than the national total for any of the other candidates; Kerry's national total is 790, Edwards comes in at 522, Gephardt at 93, and Lieberman has 43. As of this writing "Dean in 2004" members number 13,315.

President Bush also has a Meet-up group. In Austin, Texas, where the Bush 2000 campaign was headquartered, "Bush2004" finds itself ranked below not only Dean, the most popular topic there, but also Kerry, Edwards, non-candidate Al Gore, and Gephardt, in that order. In Houston, the city with the most Meet-up members in Texas, Dean's 127 compares pretty favorably with Bush's two. That total makes Bush the 326th most popular topic there, putting Bush just below "Body Modification", but only because those subjects that are tied are ranked in alphabetical order.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many Dean supporters attending meet-ups have never been involved in a campaign before. This is significant because it means Howard Dean is not only building a campaign organization but nurturing civil society. As these numbers show, the other Democrats and the president simply aren't inspiring people in the same way.

As has been said over and over on this site and elsewhere, Meet-up is a great way to connect with other Dean supporters and get his message out. Be sure to sign up now if you haven't. If you're already a member, take a minute to tell a friend.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.