Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Maybe there weren't enough pick-up truck drivers with Confederate flags. Dean fell to as low as 4% in Oklahoma and 5% in South Carolina. Now he's banking on strong showings in such liberal states as Michigan, then hoping to win the upcoming primary in Wisconsin, with its legacy of progressivism and anti-war protest. But in a long essay, Clay Shirky, a thoughtful, disenchanted Deaniac, explores how the insular approach and self-delusion of Dean's supporters contributed to his demise. If Dean doesn't win a state very soon, even the most hard-core Deaniac might have to go back to their computers and admit that it's hopeless. As MSNBC's analyst noted:

"Dean, too, has high hopes for Wisconsin as the state in which can arrest his slide.

"He is now zero-for-nine in primary and caucus contests and his candidacy stands on very slippery ground.

"He will meet Thursday in Michigan with the heads of the two big labor unions who endorsed him in November, the Service Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Whether and how to continue his candidacy is bound to be the pressing issue for Dean and his allies in the wake of his poor showing Tuesday.

"Dean has crafted a short-term strategy that counts on good showings in Washington state and Michigan this Saturday and in Maine's Sunday caucuses, setting the stage for a victory in Wisconsin.

"But the question is for how long will Dean's donors be willing to suspend their disbelief in the face of repeated rebuffs by the voters."

Here's a rundown of state results:CNN.com 2004 Primaries

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