TWO-MAN RACE

John Hood has belatedly come to the conclusion that I’ve long held (well, for nearly a week, anyway) that Johns Kerry and Edwards are the only Democrats who have a legitimate shot at the nomination at this point.

Edwards is now the only Democrat in the presidential field who can derail Kerry’s seeming inevitability. It will have to occur next Tuesday, February 3, where the top four New Hampshire finishers will compete in seven states stretching from the East Coast over to the plains and down to the south and southwest. While the media coverage and campaign events have focused almost exclusively on the first two contests in the past few weeks, you can’t say the same thing about the serious campaigns. They’ve been lining up endorsements, buying up ad time, signing up volunteers, collecting cash, and making occasional campaign stops.

He then does a state-by-state analysis of the seven primaries scheduled for next week. He concludes,

Forget all the talk about Dean waiting to make it a contest in February 7 in Michigan, where he’s running no better in the polls than Edwards, believe it or not. That’s just Dean’s attempt to manage expectations. It seems to me that if Kerry is to be stopped from getting the nomination, it would have to happen in one of three ways: 1) Howard Dean would have to win Delaware and New Mexico and pull off a surprise somewhere else, like Arizona; 2) Wes Clark would have to recover his footing and win Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico; or 3) John Edwards would have to add a victory in Oklahoma or Missouri, or both, to his expected win in South Carolina, setting up a two-man race between a blue-blood New England leftist and a red-blood southern liberal with moderate affectations. The last scenario may be unlikely, but the first two just don’t seem plausible.

Sounds about right to me.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. melvin toast says:

    Thing is, and I’m surprise that it hasn’t happened yet, Kerry has a big liability with his legislative record. He voted for Iraq war 2002 but against the was 2001. He also voted to cut intelligence and terrorism spending. He also hasn’t passed any major bill and now claims that he sponsored lots of bills without his name on them.

    He also says that Bush is over stating the terrorism threat but on his website says that he hasn’t done enough to protect us. If that’s not damning I don’t know what is!

  2. melvin toast says:

    too much cough syrup. I meant against the war 1991.