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:: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 ::

Latest ARG Polls: Arizona and Oklahoma

Latest ARG polls are out for Arizona and Oklahoma. Quickie results (those breaking 10% with Fav/Unfav/Not Sure numbers after)

Dean: 26% (51%/12%/23% with 86% name recognition)
Clark 15% (43%/7%/21% with 71% name recognition)
Undecided: 35%

Dean: 24% (54%/19%/18% with 91% name recognition)
Clark: 21% (53%/11%/19% with 83% name recognition)
Undecided: 34%

Both are February 3rd states, and are critical for several of the "anti-Dean" candidates. Based on this, I don't see much hope for them. Clark has a decent shot at Oklahoma as it stands, but I think that battle will come down to organization and resources. Clark will be competing in South Carolina (probably also against Dean. South Carolina's polling is a mess. Multiple polls showing multiple different winners. God knows what's going on there) as well, and I'm unsure whether Clark will have the organization to compete with Dean in both Oklahoma and South Carolina. Clark should get competitive Q4 numbers, and a big match after that, so money probably won't be an issue....but ground troops are.

Nonetheless, Clark's the only man who can catch Dean right now, and he doesn't have a lot of time to do it. Add in the fact that Dean's likely to win Iowa and New Hampshire the week before, and you're looking at a likely bounce in Dean's numbers. Given the primary schedule, a tie in Oklahoma is probably a Dean win. Clark will need to shift into high gear if he wants to take it.
:: Morat 9:49 AM :: ::

:: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 ::

Return of the King

Here's a question about the movie: I vaguely recall, from the books, that Gandalf -- at one point -- confronts the Witch King at the gates of Gondor and denies him entrance.

Pelennor Fields has been changed rather greatly, but wouldn't that particular seen happen right around the point where Gandalf says "No matter what comes through those gates, remember you are men of Gondor"?

I'm wondering if the Extended Edition of the Return of the King might insert the Witch King in right there. After all, while armored cave trolls are frightening, Gandalf's words were far more apt for a Nazgul.
:: Morat 12:21 PM :: ::

Dean the Suicide Bomber

Shorter William Saletan: Dean has committed political suicide for at least the fifth time, and he should stop before he grows even more popular.
:: Morat 11:24 AM :: ::

Media Issues

There's a great article up over at The Blogging of the President:
Jay Rosen has described how Frank Rich is trying to clue in his clueless colleagues on the importance of the internet. I'm going to be publishing a series on Dean, looking at various facets of the transformative dynamics at work, but I'd like to emphasize one point Rosen peripherally made on the Washington press corps before the series comes out.

Essentially, the internet isn't explained by journalists well because it hits directly at the current rot of journalistic endeavor, laying bare the sausage factory that journalists still feel needs to be hidden at all costs (and still think is hidden despite ample evidence to the contrary).

The internet reveals the moral bankruptcy of the political journalists like George Will and Bob Novak who have now become as much a part of the system as they were never supposed to be. Instead of scrupulously guarding against conflicts of interest, there's a carnival-like race towards best-selling agenda-laden punditry and consulting.
I've said this before, and I'll undoubtably say it again: The media simply does not understand Dean. They didn't understand Clinton, for that matter.

They certainly don't understand Bush.

They've become myopic, so used to peddling party lines, candidate spin, and conventional wisdom that they've lost the ability to actually report a story. They've become lazy, reducing politicians to already existing archtypes, rather than report on who the candidate really is.

It's easier to report Clinton as a philanderer, Gore as a liar, and Dean as McGovern. Those stories don't require thought, don't require research, don't require effort. It's so much easier to slot people into the old stories, the familiar roles....

And when candidates refuse to fit those preconceived roles, the media is at a loss. They never could explain Clinton's stubborn popularity. He was caught having an affair. That means "unpopular" followed by "resignation". That's how it works.....

They can't explain Dean. He's too angry, too liberal, too conservative...he's McGovern, Nixon, Gingrich, Mondale, Dukakis...hell, even Reagan. He's been labeled "unelectable" and "unpopular" and his stubborn refusal to lose must be driving them batty.

Too much narration, and not enough reporting. Whether it's laziness, inability to seperate fact from spin, or simply self-indulgent tripe, the media is less an objective reporter than a vehicle for spin.

As Krugman put it, if George Bush said the earth was flat, and a Democrat said it was round, the media would report: "Shape of the Earth: Views differ" and treat both sides as having equal merit.
:: Morat 10:50 AM :: ::

Slow day

It appears that absolutely nothing of interest is happening today. Nothing at all. While I desperately search for anything of interest to me, feel free to wander the archives or book recommendations.

Or even advertise here. :)

Hopefully, actual news and/or commentary will resume shortly.
:: Morat 10:36 AM :: ::

:: Monday, December 22, 2003 ::

When I'm Pushed, I Tend to Push Back

Check out Howard Dean's Newsweek interview. This answer, in particular, caught my eye:
What would you do to restore relations with our allies?
If I win, I'm going to go, before I am inaugurated, on a world tour of the countries we desperately need to repair our relations with. And not just in Europe, but also in Asia and in Latin America. We're talking a little presumptuously here because the votes haven't been cast in one primary yet. But I've thought about this a lot.

:: Morat 9:58 AM :: ::

Latest South Carolina Poll Results

ARG's latest South Carolina poll is out. Dean 16%, Clark 12%, Edwards 11%, Sharpton 12% and 29% undecided. Dean has the highest favorability of the field (37/24/30) although Clark's lower unfavorables (31/17/35) is good news for Clark.

For the record, I'm a committed Deanie who has been of the opinion that Howard was going to do a lot better than most people thought, starting with a solid primary win and a much bigger general win than polling might anticipate. All in all, I've been basing that on the theory that Dean will revitalize some of the "non-voting" demographics, and manage to do solidly enough with the base -- which would be solidly ABB in the general.

But I've got to say, I did not expect Dean to be topping the SC polls by December. I thought -- and still do think -- that Iowa and NH are going to give him a much bigger bounce into mini-Tuesday than most pundits think, and figured a strong second in SC was quite likely...perhaps even a win.

But I didn't expect Dean to be polling above Clark and Edwards this early.
:: Morat 9:27 AM :: ::

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