The fifty state strategy in action

A piece in the Las Vegas Sun about Howard Dean caught my attention. After the “Dean Scream” got played into the ground by the media, Dean has largely been ignored by the popular press, but I think his actions at the DNC have been substantial in positioning the Democrats in 2008. And it’s instructive to take a look at the actual speech which preceded his “scream”:

Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York … And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeah!

I linked to electoral poll results for each of the states Dean called out. It’s interesting to see that while many red states have stayed red, Arizona, North Dakota, and Michigan are all clearly in play, while New Mexico has moved solidly into the “safe Democratic” column. And geez, look what’s happened in Virginia and North Carolina.

I think that the overplaying of the Dean Scream may have been one of the biggest injustices ever done to a presidential candidate by the media, but in the long run, maybe the party is better off for having him in the internal role that he’s excelled at.

The really interesting question, raised by Kos this weekend, is: who will the right find to rebuild the party? Who will play Howard Dean for the GOP?

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