Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

February 14, 2004

by V

DC, Nevada results

The Washington Post's headline sums up DC's shift since its January beauty contest:

This Time Counts, and It's Kerry
Kerry 47%  
Sharpton 20%
Dean 17%
Other 16%

Kerry 63%
Dean 17%
Edwards 10%
Other 10%

In delegate counts, Dean's still second, but it's mattering less and less:
Delegates needed to win: 2,161
Total Delegates: 4,321
Sen. John F. Kerry: 539
Howard Dean: 182
Sen. John Edwards: 166
Wesley Clark: 86
In other news, the Kerry allegations have gone from scurrilously vague to more specific: now there's a woman's name attached. Where all that's going to go, I have no clue, but it doesn't seem to have dampened Nevada's ardor any.
Posted by V at February 14, 2004 11:56 PM

What does it mean? That DC is as much of a sheep as the rest of the country--they just want to elect the frontrunner (let's please hope the polls keep a democrat as a frontrunner, in that case).

Actually, the real story there is how the DC Democratic party (a) only had one polling place in each Ward and (b) the turnout was 3.5% compared to the 16% of the beauty contest. How to read that? The party only wanted the faithful to show up, not every possible Democratic voter, because they want to elect the inside guy, and they achieved their goal.

Posted by: Glen Engel-Cox at February 15, 2004 08:20 AM

The party only wanted the faithful to show up, not every possible Democratic voter, because they want to elect the inside guy, and they achieved their goal.

Funny that. Didn't we used to say that low turnout benefits Republicans and that's why Repubs act in ways to depress turnout? Now we see that low turnout benefits Dem insiders too, and they act to achieve it. So much for being the party of the little guy.

And people get mad at Dean for saying Democrats are turning into Republican-lite!

Posted by: J at February 15, 2004 08:25 AM

I was at the caucus in Carson City, the capital of Nevada, population a little over 50,000. The turnout was around 600 or 700, several hundred more than the organizers expected. There were a few young people, but the average age must have been over 50.

There were nine people who stayed for my precinct meeting. I'm 57 and a Dean supporter; the other Dean supporter was in her fifties, and each time she mentioned Dean, she added "but I'll support whoever they nominate." The other seven were in their sixties and seventies, all Kerry supporters. They might have been able to talk the other Dean supporter into voting for Kerry if they had tried, but nobody did (nor did I try arguing with the Kerry supporters).

So Dean got one delegate. Six of us--the six who volunteered--will be delegates to the county convention in mid-March. I'll cast my vote for Dean, if there's any point in doing so by then.

The people in my precinct were all first-time caucus-goers. One man who is in the welder's union said the process was a lot like a union meeting. Another man mentioned that at least Kerry was respected in Washington, so he'll be able to get things done--so much for Dean's line about change being needed in Washington.

These were all fine people, and two at least were in poor enough health that it took a serious effort to get there and then stay for two and a half hours. I admire them, and obviously they are more civic-minded than the average voter, not to mention non-voters. And yet I doubt that they know much about Kerry, or about how difficult it will be for any Democratic president to accomplish anything in Washington.

The whole focus of the caucus was on getting rid of Bush. It's a magic bullet--just get a Democrat in the White House and everybody can breath a sigh of relief.

Posted by: gz at February 15, 2004 12:18 PM

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