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Thursday, October 16, 2003


Can Anyone Stop Dean? - The Sequel

posted by Amanda at Thursday, October 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
With the official release of the Q3 fundraising numbers, as well as the release of the most recent poll results from Iowa and NH -- which show Dean competing strongly in Iowa and cementing a commanding lead in NH ahead of Kerry -- the speculation has returned to the blogosphere: Is Dean Unstoppable?

While it's certainly a pleasure, as a Dean supporter, to read such analysis, we obviously shouldn't take anything for granted. That said, onward with the feel good analysis!

Back in August, when Dean first eclipsed Kerry in the NH polls, Liberal Oasis asked if anyone could beat Dean:

If Dean wins Iowa and NH…and has the most money…he’d be damn near unstoppable.

Today, LO revisits the question in light of the recent good news:

Dean is incredibly well-positioned as the candidates enter crunch time: less than 100 days until Iowa. With Third Quarter fundraising reports filed yesterday, the big headlines are that Dean raised the most money. But that’s not the most important thing.

Dean also has the most cash in the bank by a healthy margin, showing he hasn’t spent recklessly. Approximate figures as reported by Reuters:

Dean -- $12M
Kerry -- $8M
Gephardt -- $6M
Lieberman -- $4M

Also notable, Dean is the only major candidate (excluding newbie Clark) who made money ($5.6M) this past quarter.

Dean's strengths only highlight the other candidates' weaknesses. And despite the mounting attacks Dean has been weathering from several of his rivals, LO notes that the attacks aren't necessarily working. For example, Reuters reports that at an AARP event in Iowa, Kerry attacked Dean on the Medicare issue...and the crowd GROANED. (Heh.)

Dean currently has the most money, is only one making money, is only one raising more and more as the race progresses.

That means his money advantage, already good, is almost sure to increase.
That will make it very hard for his rivals to get their attacks out, since Dean is positioned to, in effect, shout over them.

Of course, LO notes that Clark is now part of the equation and his supporters are boasting that they raised $3.5 million in two weeks.

But that still leaves him, for the moment, with just $3.5M vs. Dean’s $12M. And it’s not at all clear that Clark can keep up anything close to such a pace. So you have keep Clark in the wild card category for the time being.

The bottom line:

To win, you have to pass Dean in Iowa or New Hampshire.

If you haven’t done it yet (and you haven’t), it will be exceedingly hard to do without ample cash.

And it’s very hard to see where that cash is going to come from.

To top off the feel good analysis, Kos has all the juicy details on the Q3 numbers, including links to the candidates' filing papers, in case you need some light reading. Some interesting stats in there; check 'em out. :-)

Onward, Deaniacs!


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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.