Look Who's Linking to PoliBlog:
Absinthe and Cookies
Accidental Verbosity
Admiral Quixote's Roundtable
All Day Permanent Red
All Things Jennifer
Ann Althouse
The American Mind
Arguing with signposts
The Astute Blogger
Asymmeterical Information
B-Town Blog Boys
Backcountry Conservative
Balloon Juice
Bananas and Such Begging to Differ
The Bemusement Park
Bewtween the Coasts
Betsy's Page
The Big Picture
Blogs for Bush
Boots and Sabers
The Bully Pulpit
Caffeinated Musing
California Yankee
Captain's Quarters
Chicago Report
Chicagoland of Confusion
Citizen Smash
Collected Thoughts
The Command Post
Common Sense and Wonder
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
Conservative and Right
Cranial Cavity
The Daily Lemon
Daly Thoughts
DANEgerus Weblog
Dart Frog on a Cactus
Dean's World Dear Free World
Brad DeLong
Democracy Project
The Disagreeable Conservative Curmudgeon
Down to the Piraeus
Drink this...
Earthly Passions
The Education Wonks
the evangelical outpost
Eye of the Storm
The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles
The Friendly Ghost
Functional, if not decorative
The Galvin Opinion
The Glittering Eye
Haight Speech
The Hedgehog Report
Heh. Indeed.
Hennessy's View
High Desert Skeptic
Robert Holcomb
I love Jet Noise
Idlewild South
Independent Thinker
Insults Unpunished
Internet Ronin
Ipse Dixit
It Can't Rain All The Time...
The Jay Blog
Jen Speaks
Joefish's Freshwater Blog
John Lemon blog
Judicious Asininity
The Kudzu Files
Liberty Father
Life and Law
Locke, or Demosthenes?
Gary Manca
Mark the Pundit
Mediocre but Unexciting
Mental Hiccups
Miller's Time
Mind of Mog
Minorities For Bush
Mr. Hawaii
The Moderate Voice
The Modulator
Much Ado
Mungowitz End
My opinion counts
my thoughts, without the penny charge
My Word
Neophyte Pundit
New England Republican
NewsHawk Daily
neWs Round-Up
No Pundit Intended
Nobody asked me, but...
Obsidian Wings
Occam's Toothbrush
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
One Fine Jay
Out of Context
Outside the Beltway
Peppermint Patty
John Pierce
The Politicker
The Politburo Diktat
Political Annotation
Political Blog For The Politically Incorrect
Power Politics
Practical Penumbra
Priorities & Frivolities
Prof. Blogger's Pontifications
Pundit Heads
The Queen of All Evil
Quotes, Thoughts, and other Ramblings
Ramblings' Journal
Random Acts of Kindness
Random Nuclear Strikes
Ranting Rationalist
Read My Lips
Reagan Country
A Republican's Blog
The Review
Right Side of the Rainbow
Right Wingin-It
Right Wing News
Right Voices
Rightward Reasonings
riting on the wall
Rooftop Report
The Sake of Argument
Secular Sermons
Sha Ka Ree
She Who Will Be Obeyed!
The Skeptician
The Skewed
small dead animals
Sneakeasy's Joint
SoCal Law Blog
A Solo Dialogue
Some Great Reward
Southern Musings
Speed of Thought...
Spin Killer
Matthew J. Stinson
The Strange Political Road Trip of Jane Q. Public
Stuff about
Target Centermass
Templar Pundit
The Temporal Globe
Tex the Pontificator
Texas Native
think about it...
Tobacco Road Fogey
Tony Talks Tech
The Trimblog
Use The Forks!!
Wall of Sleep
Weapons of Mass Discussion
Who Knew?
The Window Manager
Winning Again!
WizBang Tech
The World Around You
The Yin Blog
You Big Mouth, You!
Non-Blogs Linking to PoliBlog: - Alabama Weblogs

AJC's 2004 Election Politics Sites and Blogs Campaign Finance
Welcome to World O' Blogs
Yahoo! Directory Political Weblogs
Young Elephant
Wednesday, September 3, 2003
More Fun with Primaries

By Steven Taylor @ 6:39 am

An anonymous soul left the following analytical gem in a comment last night:

Wesley Clark is the most electable of the candidates in the Dem perception. They want to nominate the most electable candidate. Therefore, Clark wins. This is not rocket science.

To which I would reply as follows:

First, at this point we really don’t know enough about Clark to say he is the most electable or not. This just goes to the whole “blank slate” situation I mentioned before. Aside from some information on his military career and his CNN gig, we really don’t know much of anything about the man. He could come out and wow the country, or he could come out and embarrass himself. Or he could be just plain boring. We really don’t know.

Second,the primary process doesn’t always produce the most electable candidate. Was Dukakis really the best candidate in 1988 out of that field? Dole in 1996? These were the most electable persons in their parties at those times?

Third, there will be disagreement amongst Democratic voters as to whom it is they think is most electable. People keep forgetting that this is a collective action, not a monolithic one. The Democratic Party is not a group mind.

Fourth, partisans don’t always support the most electable candidate, even if they know he/she is the most electable. Evidence? The Republicans in CA who are splitting up their support in the CA recall.

Really, there appear to be a lot of people who really do not understand the primary process.

Filed under: US Politics

Click here to go to the main page.


  1. Quick, get that commenter an emergency Downs primer! Stat!

    Comment by Matthew — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 6:43 am

  2. On the other hand, Bush was pushed right from the beginning as the most electable candidate. The left might have learned the message that beating the Republican is more important than which specific Democrat gets the nomination.

    For example, don’t expect a major Ralph Nader run, or far-left claims that there is no difference between the two major party candidates.

    BTW, I am extremely dubious of the anti-Clark folk saying it’s too late based solely on the fact that this election cycle is different. Usually, things are not different.

    Comment by pathos — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 10:03 am

  3. Bush had the name and the money, and was considered an attractive candidate. None of the other Reps that year, save McCain, really ever got any traction. That often happens, where there is a clear front runner from the beginning. Kerry was supposed to be that guy this go ’round, but not so much.

    In re: Clark-it isn’t that he has no chance, but that his chances are severly curtailed. The other candidates have been raising money and visiting Iowa and NH for a long while, and for a new candidate to break in, he/she would have to really be able to wow the voters and bust through a lot of the noise. I think, for example, that Mrs. Clinton could do that. I don’t think Clark can. Despite his military career he is a true neophyte politcally. They tend to stumble in these types of situations.

    Comment by Steven — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 11:03 am

  4. Get yer offensive Dean People Suck merchandise right here:

    Comment by Murphy — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 3:49 pm

  5. This is just Steven’s shtick-he wouldn’t be devoting so much time to Clark if Clark had no chance. If GEN Clark were PFC Joe Blow, we wouldn’t have heard peep one from Steven.

    But Clark concerns Steven because a Clark neutralizes Dubya’s campaign theme. As such, it would require Dubya to try and run on his record-which ain’t good.

    Comment by JadeGold — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 6:01 pm

  6. Actually, what it boils down to is when students don’t understand the first time, one has to repeat the material in a different way.

    Don’t fret, I am sure you will get the hang of it eventually.

    Comment by Steven — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 9:17 pm

  7. I am the rocket scientist in question. And since I suppose you must want a long argument, here we go.
    You claimed Clark had no constituency. I attempted to say that his constituency is those Dems looking for a guy that is likely to beat Bush. It is a large constituency. I have heard ‘I will vote for anyone who can beat Bush’ many times.
    First, you claimed we don’t know how good a campaigner Clark is. True. But we know he is more telegenic than Dean. We know he will be very hard to smear on security matters. I’m not guaranteeing a Clark victory, but he has a good chance. My post was a hypothetical. He might suck, but based on what we know, there is a constituency.
    Second, the primary process does seem to usually lead to the most electable candidate. Unless you’re arguing that Steve Forbes or Pat Buchanan were more electable than Dole (I just read a great book about this.) I have sadly forgotten the details of that exciting ‘88 primary, but wasn’t that the one where the seven dwarves line came from? McGovern may support your case (great book about this too) but again, it was an awful field.
    Third, yes there will be disagreement about this, but a lot of lefties have been making the ‘Clark is electable’ case well recently. I have not heard this ‘X is electable’ about any other candidate, really.
    Fourth, I think the guys in California are mad becuase Arnie does not support them on their priority (which apparently is social conservatism). Dem voters’ priority issue, as evidence by the Dean surge, is opposition to the war on Iraq. Clark has that (and he is looking fairly prescient these days, too). The Dem partisans may be loyal to their candidate, but they could leave him for someone with the same positions who can win. We will find out.
    “Really, there appear to be a lot of people who really do not understand the primary process.”
    I hope that wasn’t directed as me (I just read two books about the subject!). And why’d you say ‘really’ twice?
    “Quick, get that commenter an emergency Downs primer! Stat!”
    Please do, as I have no idea what that is. I started my first poli-sci class this very day (a class studying elections, of course). I guess it’s all uphill from here. This arguing is good practice, anyways.

    Comment by sym — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 11:17 pm

  8. (pause for breath) And furthermore, I would like to discuss the ‘It’s Too late for Clark’ idea. You just linked to a post saying that Dems do not know who the candidates are, let alone have already picked one. In Iowa and NH I’m sure they’ve given more thought to the matter, but there are still lots of undecided, and I bet many will switch their preference if Clark looks good out there.
    There are still also a lot of endorsements to be handed out, including one from a certain Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas who said Clark would make a good president (IIRC). So let’s not count the General out just yet, Ok?

    Comment by sym — Wednesday, September 3, 2003 @ 11:29 pm

  9. Sym,

    My thanks for your thoughtful response.

    However, a couple of points, which I may elaborate on on the main blog at some point:

    1) The fact of the matter is, not all democratic primary voters are going to agree on who it is who is best able to beat Bush. And, to be fair, just because you haven’t heard people say X or Y on candidates means nothing.

    2) You make my point with the Arnie thing-it is entirely possible, indeed likely that any given candidate will alienate some segment of a given set of voters-why should Clark be any different? YOu are amusing the best of a blank slate. This is especially true in the primary process when there are lots of choices.

    3) I am glad you have read some nifty books, but that isn’t much of an argument. If the issue is number of pages read on these topics, trust me, I win.

    4) I probably typed “really” twice in that sentence because I typed that post at 6-something in the morning whilst eating breakfast. I confess to not always being the best copy editor of my own work.

    5) Endorsements are relevant, but so is fundraising, and ESPECIALLY getting established in NH and Iowa. As bizarre as it may seem, the most important issue at this stage is not national polling data.

    Comment by Steven — Friday, September 5, 2003 @ 4:30 pm

  10. Oh, and Matthew was referring to Anthony Downs and his theorie on voting and voter behavior.

    Comment by Steven — Friday, September 5, 2003 @ 9:02 pm

  11. Comment by Deleter Spy — Monday, July 12, 2004 @ 2:55 am

  12. Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday, August 10, 2004 @ 3:03 pm

RSS feed for these comments.

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>



Take a Look At This!
  • Tabloid News
  • Word of The Day
  • Chronograph Watches
  • Office Shredders
  • Cash Registers
  • Ricoh Fax Machines
  • IBM Typewriters
  • Copy Machines
  • UNIX Consulting
  • Web Design

Visitors Since 2/15/03

Powered by WordPress