Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Saturday, June 28, 2003  

[In the comments to my MoveOn poll analysis, a reader named Aard gave such good analysis, I'm posting the whole of his comment here.]

As a fellow Kucinich supporter, but in the heart of Dean & Kerry country (Massachusetts), I think this is better for Dennis than you have imagined.

First of all, the Dean people will be massively disappointed in their failure to get 50%. They expected to do it (especially for the money) and mobilized their forces. Likewise the Kerry campaign put in a large effort. As you know, the Kucinich folks (and that includes me) aren't organized enough yet to put the effort in to mobilize supporters.

If I had to bet, I think there were a lot of MoveOn members who looked at the candidate comparisons for the first time and chose Dennis. I also think that there are still a lot of activists who don't know Kucinich very well, which would explain the lower level of "enthusiastically support." I also suspect that almost all of the Kucinich supporters said that they could support any nominee, while the hostility I've felt from supporters of other leading candidates means that they would not have checked Dennis' name.

Money is the big issue for most of the other candidates. With Kucinich, the most important thing is the conversations that volunteer supporters will have with other Democratic voters. Dennis' blue collar background will make a huge difference here and among other populations that won't show up in an Internet poll. As long as we can maintain Kucinich on the cheap for a few months, I think the money will be where it needs to be.

And I'd be wary of the national spotlight. With the kind of national press that we have out there, Dennis is unlikely to get good press. Take the whole Cleveland bankruptcy thing. He did the right thing, people now recognize that and re-elect him to Congress from the same city. But we're unlikely to hear that story in the press. Universal health care? That's what the Clintons tried to do (never mind that their plan was more like Gephardt's).

I think Dennis will do much better at the grass roots level, where we have the time to explain who he is. This campaign may be won by thousands of VCR tapes of Dennis speaking, all handed around and shown at meetings and in individual homes.

And the best part of it all for me is that we may bury the notion of the Greens as a progressive alternative to the Democratic Party, by re-attaching progressive Democrats to our party.

This is long, but it's a day I feel like celebrating, because the big winner today was the Democratic Party and American democracy.

posted by Jeff | 9:18 PM |
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