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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Here's a congressional endorsement count from the AP:

As of this week, aides said Dean had the support of 29 members of Congress, including a handful since former Vice President Al Gore endorsed him early this month.

By comparison, just one of the five members of Congress running for president has more congressional endorsements -- U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri. The former Democratic leader of the House of Representatives has 34, aides said.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has 22, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, 14, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, eight, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, one, aides said.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark has about a dozen congressional endorsements while the two other Democratic presidential contenders, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and civil rights activist Al Sharpton, have a couple each.

These numbers have held relatively steady the past few months for most of the candidates. Dean, though, has seen his congressional endorsements triple.
By my count, that means that a little less than half of the 253 Democrats in Congress have endorsed somebody. Of course, none of this matters much, and a lack of congressional support certainly didn't stop Dean's campaign from taking off. But it's a rough measure of a candidate's perceived strength, as one can see from the flow of endorsements to Dean.
--Posted at 7:04 PM | link

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Nader has decided not to run on the Green Party ticket, probably in response to the reluctance of some Greens to threaten the Democrats' chances against George W. Bush. The Green Party is currently debating whether to run an all-out campaign, or focus its efforts only in states that the Democrats are likely to win. Given Nader's past behavior, it's unlikely that he would be satisfied with the "safe state" strategy. Nader still might run as an independent, but it will be more difficult for him to get on the ballot without party backing.
--Posted at 12:17 PM | link

A recent national ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Bush defeating Howard Dean, 55-37. This appears to be good news for Democrats who are making the argument that Dean is unelectable. But then again, it doesn't appear that the poll compared Bush to any other candidate, so this might be more a reflection of Bush's current popularity than Dean's unelectability. The article also remarks that few of those polled knew much about Howard Dean, but it doesn't give any numbers.
--Posted at 12:12 PM | link

Monday, December 22, 2003

Ralph Nader has a questionnaire on his exploratory committee website asking visitors about their enthusiasm for a possible Nader candidacy.
--Posted at 5:31 PM | link

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Wesley Clark says that he will not accept a VP position on a Dean ticket. This is no great surprise. If Clark said now that he would accept the VP slot, he would be reflecting a lack of confidence in his own ability to win the nomination. But Clark has left himself little room for changing his mind later. Clark refused to raise his hand in the debate when he was asked whether Dean was electable. If Dean were nominated with Clark as VP, this footage would be replayed at every opportunity.

Clark also said that Dean offered him the VP position before Clark entered the race, a claim that Dean's campaign disputes.
--Posted at 7:16 PM | link

Less than a week after Dean was pounded for saying that the capture of Saddam did not make America safer, the Department of Homeland Security raised the threat level from "yellow" to "orange."
--Posted at 7:13 PM | link

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