WaPo: Kerry Wins Washington Caucuses, Leads in Michigan

Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts captured Democratic caucuses in Washington state and took an early lead in Michigan today as voters there held contests to determine their choices for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In Washington, Kerry took an early double-digit lead over former Vermont governor Howard Dean and never trailed. Four other candidates were far behind. In Michigan, Kerry was well ahead of the rest of the field, with Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Dean fighting it out for second place.

Considering that the other candidates ceded the contest to him, it’s no surprise. Indeed, I’d nearly forgotten that these contests were on.

The shape of the race will almost certainly be set next week: Tennessee and Virginia hold their primaries Tuesday. If Edwards (or Clark) doesn’t win both of them, it’s hard to see how anyone can stop Kerry. Dean has said he’ll drop out if he doesn’t win in Wisconsin on the 17th; his loss there is all but certain.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dean quickly backed off that statement (see here), but you’d never know it from reading the campaign weblog.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Interesting. The man’s broke and not even participating in two rounds of primaries. I suppose he could hang on and be “the other Kucinich” as long as he wants. But after being the presumptive frontrunner so long, that would be mighty demeaning.

  3. melvin toast says:

    Looks like I was wrong about Dean making a comeback. I expected the Dems to take sincerity and honesty over pandering electability. Once Kerry faced scrutiny, I assumed he would stumble. Michael Kinsley seems to argue that electability trumps and the Democrats don’t care about Kerry’s BS about why he voted for War 2002, against War 1991 and hasn’t accomplished anything material after 20 years in Congress.

  4. Jim says:

    What is interesting about Kerry is how unmotivated his supporters are. After talking to some of his supporters, their passion is fueled by their desire of getting rid of Presdient Bush and not their love of Kerry. He reminds me of Bob Dole’s campaign: no one was really enthused by Bob Dole but did want President Clinton out of the White House. The consequence of that desire was plenty of people who were happy enough to vote to Dole but not passionate enough to convience their friends to…and so Dole lost the election. If I could find someone generally happy the KERRY is running I might feel differently but so far it has been….I support Kerry because he can beat George Bush. Eight years ago the republicans said the same thing about Dole.

  5. Test says: