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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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Friday, February 06, 2004


Wisconsin is the key

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, February 06, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
via Dean Nation alumnus Jerome at DailyKos, is this prophetic article from June 2003 arguing that Wisconsin will be the clincher for the nomination:

Wisconsin is the lone primary on this Tuesday and, more important, the last big test going into Super Tuesday. The state has a very unpredictable electorate. Sure, there are the Madison liberals, but independents could mess with this primary big time. There's no party registration in the state, meaning the primary will be as open as they come.
But it's not just the independents that make this contest interesting; the Wisconsin electorate has a little bit to offer every major candidate in the field. There will be no excuse to skip -- there's no one with a regional advantage, although one could argue the winner of Iowa should have at least a tiny leg up. But regional candidates haven't succeeded in Wisconsin in the past, so what's to say a Gephardt couldn't walk in with a big advantage?

This will be the state that will either sink the front-runner or solidify him; there's no two ways about it. And winning Wisconsin, since it is a swing state for the general election, will trigger the media into declaring the winner the most electable Dem.

Of course, the article was written long before Lieberman or Gephardt's withdrawal. Still, the facts of an open primary, no party registration, and a strong independent tradition make the state very competitive for Dean, despite poor poll numbers from UW (which admits to being unable to gauge the impact).

Likewise, a win in Wisconsin will be transformative. Winning Wisconsin means that electability is not an issue anymore - especially given WI's swing state status. That should help stem the tide of soft support from Dean to Kerry and make Dean much more competitive for Super Tuesday - where the grassroots support can mobilize.


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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.