A sampling of polls that I saw yesterday for next Tuesday’s Democratic primaries is fascinating. Dean leads in no states, and isn’t in the top three in several of them (of course, we all know how polls can change on a dime, witness Dean’s freefall in Iowa and New Hampshire). Clark was leading in Oklahoma, Edwards by a smidge in South Carolina (where Sharpton was also polling well), Kerry leading most of the other states, although none of them by longshots, and with different people in the number two slot in most of them. It doesn’t look like anyone’s gonna run the tables, and it doesn’t look like many of them are gonna get themselves knocked out (except for, amazingly, Dean . . . if only because of how high expectations were for him two months ago, and how dismal the realities have been once voters actually turned out to do their things).
I think this is good for the party at this point: the record breaking voter turnout in New Hampshire says that the Democrats are determined to not repeat the mistakes of 2000, since now they have a real world example of how every vote (electoral as well as popular) counts, and they seem mobilized and ready to do what they need to do to oust the Bush administration. The more interest there is in the primaries, the more interest there is in the general election, the better it is for the country as a whole, regardless of who wins in November. Get interested! Get involved! Get passionate!
I like the fact, too, that South Carolina sits as the most important state for next Tuesday, since the Democrats have never won a presidential election without winning the South, and this will be a test in the true heart of the South as to how the candidates are going to do there. Let’s see what the motherland does.