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Thursday, January 29, 2004


Dean's Money Advantage Dwindles

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
The money situation is indeed tight. Still no confirmation of the $5m rumor, but it is clear that the campaign overspent in Iowa and New Hampshire. Given that we are entering a media-centered phase of the campaign, this is a bad thing. This WaPo article sheds a lot of information on how the fiscal issue affects the primary strategy for Feb 3rd and 7th:

Rivals including front-runner John F. Kerry are buying TV ads in South Carolina and other states holding primaries or caucuses Tuesday, but the former Vermont governor has chosen to forgo further advertising in this round, focusing instead on the Feb. 7 caucuses in Michigan and Washington state, campaign officials said. The decision marks a notable shift in fortunes for an innovative candidate who revolutionized fundraising via the Internet and led all Democrats in 2003 by collecting nearly $41 million.

"Clearly his decision to spend heavily in New Hampshire was at the expense of not spending in Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina," said Evan Tracey of TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks media expenditures. "You are essentially leaving the paid media field to your opponents."
Dean, according to campaign aides, has calculated that he can remain credible by picking up enough votes to win some delegates in the Feb. 3 states, even without renewed advertising or a first-place finish.

Dean expects to run strongly in Michigan and Washington, a Dean aide said. What's more, in contrast to primary contests that require heavy spending on TV ads, caucuses involve more ground-level work, such as identifying supporters and getting them to caucus sites. Much of this work can be performed by volunteers, enabling a candidate to preserve cash.

Dean must win some contests in the next two weeks "or he'll have trouble raising money in the future," said Steve Weissman, associate director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan group based in Washington.
Kerry, the winner in Iowa and New Hampshire, has bought TV time in all seven Feb. 3 states. He also is enjoying the wave of free news coverage that accompanies front-runner status.

"I don't think everybody has the capacity to fight in every state," said Dean campaign chair Steve Grossman. "We are going to use our resources wisely." Dean, he said, "must win a state somewhere" by Feb. 7.


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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.