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January 07, 2004

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Doesn't that depend on Kerry staying in?

"Doesn't that depend on Kerry staying in?"

That's the funny part about this: any candidate who'll be able to consistently pull 15% may find it in his (no offense to Braun, but she won't) best interest to stick it out. Ask again after March, when all shall be clearer.

Moe is right - if I'm Kerry or Edwards, even if I fully intend on pulling out down the road, it still behooves me to have a handful of pledged delegates I can use to be a player at the convention.

Moe, what kind of horse trading do you think would happen? Do you have any insight as to how those behind-the-scenes discussions happen?

Keep in mind that the longer the individual candidates stay in, the more establishment pressure there is going to be on the lower-polling candidates to drop out and throw their weight behind the front-runner, and the more momentum the front-runner is going to gain. People like to back a winner. The more endorsements and donations Dean picks up and the further he pulls ahead, the more that people on the fence are going to fall into his camp. The analysis here assumes that the undecideds will distribute themselves based on current patterns in one fell swoop, when in actuality it will happen over a period of time, with more people going towards the front-runner the further he seems to pull ahead.

All of this, of course, assuming all else remains equal--that none of the candidates say or do anything which works substantially for or against them--and ignores current trends. Kerry, for instance, has been trending quickly and steadily downward in the polls for a few weeks now. Clark has been mostly steady, with a recent upward tick commeasurate with Kerry's drop. Dean's support has remained mostly unchanged, with all movement within the MOE and no directional trends.

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