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Still Fighting The Last War

takes issuecritique
The meltdown of the Dean campaign post-Iowa was attributable to the catastrophic outcome in Iowa, and to the huge media exaggeration of The Scream--but also to the revelation that Dean's significant money advantage had vanished thanks to promiscuous spending on organization and media in states well down the road. As it turned out, Kerry's Iowa bounce, which produced a decisive NH bounce, not only enabled JK to raise money, but also wiped out the impact of earlier Dean spending in a variety of states. It's not clear to me that a compressed primary schedule in 2004 would have changed the ultimate outcome at all. If anything, the "pause" after NH gave two other rivals, Edwards and Clark, a slim but definite chance to overcome the Iowa-NH bounce for Kerry. The real and unanswerable question for 2008, particularly if Edwards or even someone further down in the field wins or places early, is the size of the impact of Iowa and New Hampshire on the immediate landscape of later states.
Jason Zengerle