Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Lagniappe: Democratic Primaries - Post-Tuesday Predictions - Kerry looks strong and likely to win the nomination. Dean is toast. Edwards has some surprising life. I'm pleased on the whole. My thinking is that we'll have a Kerry/Edwards ticket.

If this comes to pass, conservatives should be worried. Gore lost the last election partially because he couldn't carry his home state of Tennessee. Edwards has proven his mettle in the South. If he's on the ticket, he'll carry the two Carolinas plus a couple of other Southern states that have a strange tendency to tilt democratic under the right conditions (maybe Arkansas and Louisiana). We folks in the South like the young, folksy, good-looking, and populist-leaning-but-moderate types of politicians like Edwards. This profile worked well for Bush in the South during the last election to a degree. Gore, in spite of his Tennessee roots, didn't fit the mold. But Edwards most certainly does.

Kerry is a lock on the liberal Northeast. And I would venture that a Kerry/Edwards ticket would suffice in the traditionally liberal west coast enclaves - which I would imagine find more connection with Dean. And the working-class and protectionist tendencies of Edwards will sit well in the midwest motor states.

I've been a pessimist about democratic chances this fall; but I can feel the liberal base energizing while the conservative base is lethargic (at least in Louisiana), if not disillusioned with Bush's performance on the domestic front. It strikes me as very bad timing for Bush that the Conservative Blogosphere is going negative on Bush and his recent domestic agenda. Even the most die-hard of Bush fans on the right are more prone to speak critically of Bush these days than supportive of him. And this observation leads me to think that Bush is more vulnerable than I thought.

A Kerry/Edwards ticket will resonate among the wide variation of liberals in this country -- Moderate/Conservative Southern Democrats, ethnic minorities, union workers, social and enviro liberals, and even military moderates because of Kerry's experience, etc. Conservatives better look out for this combination.

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