One of Kevin Drum's Virginia readers writes in to say that Hillary Clinton is absolutely loathed in the South and could never win down there. Kevin responds that no Democratic presidential candidate—not even John Edwards—has a prayer of winning in the South, and anyway, the Democrats don't need to win any Southern states to capture the White House, so this shouldn't even be a concern.

That seems right, but incomplete. If you look at '08 Senate races in, say, Oklahoma and Kentucky, James Inhofe and Mitch McConnell look awfully vulnerable in early polling. Isn't it likely that a Southerner like Edwards would do more to help down-ticket Dems in those races than Clinton would, even if he can't win a single Southern state himself? (I mean, it's still early, blah blah blah, but Edwards is polling better than all of the Big Three Republicans in, say, Oklahoma...)

--Bradford Plumer