diet coke for breakfast

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Posted by Jake
Kerry Captures Wisconsin; Edwards Is a Strong Second (

Exit polls showed the economy and jobs to be the most important issue for Wisconsin voters. Among voters who cited that issue, Edwards had a double-digit lead over Kerry. Edwards had as big a lead among political independents, who cast three of 10 votes in the open primary, and a more than 2 to 1 advantage among the self-identified Republicans who made up about 9 percent of the electorate.

Kerry won among core Democrats, including those with incomes of less than $50,000 a year and those without a college degree. His biggest single advantage was found among those who rated the ability to beat President Bush as the most important quality for the nominee to have. Kerry overwhelmed his rivals among those voters, drawing nearly seven in 10 to his side, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool.

Edwards is down but not out. This is my read on the whole situation. Many voters are going over to Kerry for the same reasons that the Iowans voted for him in the first place: he looks much more electable than Dean. (Apparently no one is interested in making a Nader-style symbolism vote this election when their primary goal is getting Bush out.) Kerry has a similar -- if not to the same degree -- appeal to the Democratic base.

However, Edwards has a greater appeal to the center that the Democrats need to win the general election, not just the primary. This probably isn't going to be enough for Edwards to come away with a big win on Super Tuesday, but it could be.

By and large, I would say Edwards is the best one on the Democratic field right now. He also lacks Kerry's biggest liability -- a long voting record. (Although I looked it up, Edwards also voted against the $87 billion dollar appropriations bill for Iraq.)

We'll see how it turns how out, but I still think that Edwards has legs, if not for a P spot than maybe for VP.

UPDATE: Sullivan has similar thoughts.


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