Dean's Last Stand: Wisconsin
by CA Pol Junkie
by CA Pol Junkie
Howard Dean's campaign CEO, Roy Neel, has laid out their strategy for everyone to see.
This campaign has always defied conventional wisdom. Our extraordinary rise last year defied conventional wisdom—so did our fall in Iowa, and so did our comeback in New Hampshire after most pundits predicted Howard Dean was finished.
Conventional wisdom has been consistently wrong about this race.
So when conventional wisdom says a candidate must win somewhere on February 3, or that John Kerry will have wrapped up the nomination after fewer than 10% of the delegates have been chosen, we disagree.
Our goal for the next two and a half weeks is simple—become the last-standing alternative to John Kerry after the Wisconsin primary on February 17.
The idea is, duck while Kerry knocks out Clark and/or Edwards, show potential in the caucus states of Michigan, Washington, and Maine next weekend, then play for all the marbles in Wisconsin on February 17th. It is relatively friendly turf for Dean, it is the only contest on that date, and it is the last state of any size before the March 2nd Super Tuesday. If Dean can beat Kerry there, he will bring in buckets of cash to spend on the March 2nd Super Tuesday. If he can't beat Kerry, he won't be any worse off than he is now.
Of course, Dean's track record beating Kerry is rather... unimpressive, but given the hand he is playing right now, this seems like a good strategy. At least one of Clark and Edwards are likely to be out or marginalized after February 3rd or 10th, so Dean can go mano a mano with Kerry in Wisconsin. January has not been kind to Howard Dean - he finishes the month defeated and damaged. In Wisconsin, he will try to turn his Iowa debacle into the world's biggest political mulligan. If he can win in Wisconsin, he'll have momentum and money when it really counts, going into Super Tuesday. It probably won't work, but following the script would bring certain defeat for Dean.