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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dean Kicks It Up a Notch

Wow. Howard Dean will raise well over $10 million this quarter, far outdistancing all of his Democratic rivals. And the latest Zogby poll out of New Hampshire has him with an astounding 21 point lead (38 percent to 17 percent) over his closest rival, John Kerry. The previous Zogby poll in early June had Kerry with a 3 point lead, so that’s quite a shift.
Moreover, as Ryan Lizza of The New Republic reports, Dean has steamrollered over Kerry in virtually every demographic category–”upscale Democrats, blue-collar Democrats, independents of all persuasions, every age group and every area of the state”, including New Hampshire’s Boston suburbs, where Dean is now trouncing Kerry by 40 percent to 21 percent.
That suggests that Dean is starting to build support outside of the internet-savvy professionals and college students who have helped generate a lot of the excitement around the Dean campaign. Another sign is that more women than men supported Dean in the Zogby poll (the reverse has been typical so far), indicating he is starting to plug into mainstream support from Democratic women.
How’s he having all this success? As &c. points out, by keeping his initial supporters mobilized and excited, even while he concentrates on broadening his appeal to different groups and to different areas of country (for example, he recently visited Washington state, Wisconsin and Virginia).
In short, he’s convincing more and more people that he’s not just a compelling candidate, but a viable one. And skeptics like Joan Walsh of Salon.com are increasingly willing to admit that that’s the case. Meanwhile, Dean isn’t resting but planning to run ads soon in 8 of the first 15 caucus and primary states–Iowa and New Hampshire, of course, but also Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Washington and Wisconsin.