Wednesday :: Sep 10, 2003

Democratic Primary Preview: D.C., Tennessee, Virginia


by CA Pol Junkie

by CA Pol Junkie

This is the fifth in a series of previews of the Democratic primaries. The previews will be in the order the states vote, up to March 2nd, by which time the eventual nominee will be evident. Previous previews: IA, NH; DE, MO, SC; AZ, NM, ND, OK; MI, WA, ME

After the cluster of constests Febuary 3rd and the three caucuses the following weekend, there will be a lull building up to the momentous March 2nd primaries, when the final nominee will become apparent. We don't know who will be running strong and who will be limping at this point, though, so for this analysis let's assume all of them are still solidly in the running.

District of Columbia Caucus: 2/10/2004, 16 delegates
Past performance:
5/1/1984 (Primary): Jackson 67.3%, Mondale 25.6%, Hart 7.1%
5/3/1988 (Primary): Jackson 80.0%, Dukakis 17.9%, Simon 0.9%, Gore 0.8%, Gephardt 0.3%
5/5/1992 (Primary): Clinton 73.8%, Tsongas 10.4%, Uncommitted 8.5%, Brown 7.2%
Latest poll:
none.
Future results based on history:
Lieberman, Kerry, Dean

DC moved up its primary to January 13th for 2004. Since New Hampshire's "first in the nation" position is sacrosanct, DC's primary will be a "beauty contest" where no delegates are awarded. Everything depends on the African-American vote. Preliminary polling data with a pitiful sample size from other states indicates African-Americans are split primarily between Lieberman, Dean, and Kerry. Sharpton will get some support but he is certainly not the electoral force that Jackson was. The 1988 results aren't fair to Gore or Gephardt, who were both out of the race well before the DC primary, but along the same lines Tsongas wasn't going anywhere by this time in 1992 but did alot better. The caucus gives an advantage to Dean's organization, but Brown's weak performance in the 1992 primary doesn't give him a good head start.

Tennessee Primary: 2/10/2004, 69 delegates
Past performance:
5/1/1984: Mondale 41.0%, Hart 29.1%, Jackson 25.3%, Glenn 1.3%, McGovern 1.2%
3/8/1988: Gore 72.3%, Jackson 20.7%, Dukakis 3.4%, Gephardt 1.5%, Hart 0.8%, Simon 0.5%, Babbitt 0.3%
3/10/1992: Clinton 67.3%, Tsongas 19.4%, Brown 8.0%, Uncommitted 3.9%, Harkin 0.7%, Kerrey 0.5%
Latest polls:
None.
Future results based on history:
Edwards, Lieberman, Kerry

This is a state where Clark could have an impact if he jumped in the race. Edwards' southern populist / moderate campaign is a good fit here, at least among white voters. With the African-American vote split, Edwards should be able to get a plurality. Lieberman's appeal to conservatives and African-Americans should give him a strong showing, while the niche for a traditional northeastern Democrat is pretty small. Harold Ford Sr. and Jr., fixtures in Memphis politics, have endorsed Kerry, which ought to give him a leg up.

Virginia Primary: 2/10/2004, 82 delegates
Past performance:
1984 (Caucus): ???
3/8/1988: Jackson 45.1%, Gore 22.3%, Dukakis 22.0%, Gephardt 4.4%, Simon 1.9%, Hart 1.7%, Babbitt 0.7%
4/11-13/1992 (Caucus): Clinton 52.1%, Uncommitted 36.3%, Brown 11.6%
Latest polls:
None.
Future results based on history:
Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman

Virginia is partly a classic southern state, but with government workers and liberals in the D.C. suburbs and a strong military presence. African-American voters have been key in the past, but their vote will not be decisive this time since it will be split among the candidates. Edwards should do well among those who voted Gore in 1988, and Kerry will do well in the D.C. suburbs and among those with military backgrounds. Dean has a shot at third place with the modest outsider vote and a share of the African-American vote, but Lieberman has the inside track if he can maintain his relatively good support among African-Americans.

Next week: Wisconsin, Idaho, Utah

CA Pol Junkie :: 12:38 PM :: Comments (8) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!