Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Monday, January 05, 2004
Clark's road to nomination
Clark is the X-factor in the whole process. He came in late enough that his numbers seem squishy than they probably are. Many voters had already found a candidate by the time Clark jumped in; if some of those candidates do poorly, he stands to be the strongest beneficiary of allegiance creep.
In order to win, Clark has to get in the campaign. This means a second-place showing in New Hampshire (22). It's still a long pull, because mini-Tuesday doesn't look like a Clark-friendly electorate. He must win South Carolina (45), and pick up one or two other states as well--Arizona and Oklahoma look like the best bets. If he does all that, he can look forward to matching Dean's wins in Michigan (128) and Washington (76) with victories in Tennessee (69) and Virginia (82).He must then survive the next month and super Tuesday in order to make it to March 9, when four major southern states vote.
Clark talks a lot about how Dean can't win the presidency because he won't win the South. In fact, if he wins all the Gore states and picks up Ohio, Dean can win without the South. But Clark is going to have to show he can win in the North if he plans to beat Dean for the nomination. It's all going to come down to what the voters do as the field starts narrowing. He needs to pick up the lion's share of those voters.