July 1, 2003 – Los Angeles – Dean’s surge to over $6,000,000 raised during the
second quarter of the year is no surprise. The reality is that Dean is so
firmly supported by the Democratic Clubs/activists/etc. at the moment that to
support any other candidate gets you treated like you are Republican...
While other candidates haven't begun to
organize, Dean's people meet 1st Wednesday of every month - 40,000 attend these
meetings already, and now Kerry is copying the format and will have similar
meetings nationwide starting the end of July. The fundraising potential
initiated by this new internet style is, as you can see, enormous - it can, and
is, bringing back the small individual donor en masse.
This will be one of the biggest stories of
this campaign - if Dean already has 40,000 people attending meetings now -
before most people are even paying attention - how many will the chosen
candidate have when people are really involved? 100,000 is an easy estimate,
and these aren't just the online donors, this is how many will likely be
attending meetings - the online donor numbers should be much larger. Expect
easily tens of millions of dollars to come in online from people who have never
donated money before - whether it will go more for one party or the other
remains to be seen.
The other side of this is that the
advertising strategy and need for ad cash will change, since a growing number of
people now prefer to get their info from the internet, at the time and pace of
their choosing. While before the candidate had to fit everything in to some
high priced 30 second spot - and have no potential to raise cash while doing so
- this campaign's ads will simply feature tthe website address, and interested
parties will find out everything they want at their own pace and drop some
Welcome to the first campaign that really
will be carried out on the roads of the "superhighway".
Senator John Edwards? Senator Joseph I.
Lieberman? They are essentially non-existent at the moment. For Lieberman in
particular, his defeat in the primaries – if he doesn’t withdraw at some point –
seems all but forgone. When his name is mentioned among the party faithful –
the ones who have boosted Dean so strongly – you might as well be mentioning
Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition or the hated, within these circles, George
W. Bush himself.
Edwards, really, is out of the running as
The battle this election for the Democrats
is very simple: Dean versus Kerry.
The recent Moveon.org poll, though a huge
victory for Dean percentage-wise (he garnered well over 40 percent of the vote,
while Kerry received only 16 percent), was actually a surprising
show of strength for Kerry’s campaign.
Cutting through the niceties the mainstream
media must attend to – of pretending each candidate still has an equal chance at
here is what things come down to simply.
Kucinich, who got over 20 percent of the
vote of the Moveon.org primary to finish second, is not a contender. Lieberman,
Sharpton, Edwards, Braun, Gephardt – not contenders.
The Democrats this election are going to
make a choice between the candidate who speaks truly to their hearts and moves
their souls – Governor Dean – and the one who they believe has the best shot at
beating President Bush – Senator Kerry.
With the more liberal wing of the Democratic
party most active right now and most involved with the Moveon.org primary,
strong showings by Dean and Kucinich were no surprise.
However, for Kerry to have performed so
strongly shows that he is getting a decent foothold even in this base that
really has its heart with Dean. Beyond love of Dean among this group is hatred
of Bush, and even his most ardent supporters don’t think he is ready for prime
time and think he won’t be considered by most Americans outside the base.
The other potential candidates all scored in
the low single digits, making Kerry’s showing all that much more impressive. He
is the mainstream candidate even the far left can stomach. For Gephardt in
particular to score so low amongst the base is a clear showing that he can not
But, make no mistake, for the moment, Dean
is in charge, and if he truly has the mettle and the message to lead the nation as
the next President, the nomination might just be his for the taking.
We don’t think he does, but 40,000+ highly
active people think so.
In the next update, we asses the possible
Vice Presidential picks of the Presidential hopefuls, and which would be the
best choice to balance out each candidates' strengths and weaknesses.