Sunday :: Jan 25, 2004

Kerry Competitive in February 3 Contests - Be His Consultant


by Steve

As we get closer to the New Hampshire primary, attention shifts to the post New Hampshire contests and how each candidate approaches them. It is foolish to make predictions as to what will happen in New Hampshire on Tuesday, as those who read our predictions from just weeks ago will note. But as I started a feature on the blog awhile back that called on you to act as a campaign consultant, I want to dust that off again now. My own prediction for Tuesday is that Kerry will win the Granite State, but by less than double digits over Dean. I feel that Clark will fall to fourth, tied with Lieberman, and Edwards will come in a good third.

Assume you are the campaign consultant for John Kerry. You have just won the first two contests, but you face a serious cash disadvantage against Dean and even Clark. Yet your success in the first two contests places pressure on you to go heavy into the February 3 states and the February 7 contests to maintain momentum and knock out other competitors. Plus, you are unexpectedly doing well in some of these contests as a result of your early success, even though you have spent virtually nothing in these states.

Some background information first. The following states hold their primaries in the first half of February:

February 3:

Delaware
South Carolina
Missouri
Arizona
New Mexico
Oklahoma
North Dakota (caucus)

February 7:

Michigan (caucus)
Washington (caucus)

February 8:

Maine (caucus)

February 10:

Virginia
Tennessee

As you can see, there are some real prizes in that group, as far as delegates are concerned, such as Missouri, Michigan, Washington, Virginia, and Tennessee.

South Carolina: According to the ARG poll released tonight, Edwards leads at 21%, but with Kerry at 17%, Clark at 14% and Dean falling to 9% (let’s not forget Al Sharpton at 15%). Again, Kerry has spent nothing so far in the state, so do you go in to try and disrupt Edwards’ plans and damage him with either a solid and close second place finish or even steal a win?

Arizona: Again, while spending virtually nothing in the state, Kerry has jumped to the lead, according to tonight’s ARG poll, with 24%. Clark comes in second with 21%, Dean has fallen to 10% and Edwards has shot to 15%.

Oklahoma: Once again, without spending any money in the state, the ARG survey tonight shows that Kerry is running a strong third. Clark logs in first with 23%, with Edwards at 18% and Kerry at 17%. Dean has fallen out of the picture. A Survey USA poll done Friday shows that Kerry is polling a solid third at 17%, six behind Edwards at 23% and fifteen behind Clark at 32%. Do you dump a little money in the state to aim for a second place finish to hurt Edwards or try and pull close to what could be a fading Clark?

Missouri: It’s a given that you will put money in this state, since it is a key prize in the general election, has a good deal of delegates, and you have just grabbed Steve Elmendorf to help.

Tonight’s question is this: Do you go into the early February states and make a solid but costly effort in all, or do you pick your targets and focus on the bigger, delegate rich states?

Steve :: 10:03 PM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!