Tuesday, February 10, 2004

FOLLOWING THE VIRGINIA PRIMARY…: A poll done, from last Monday, by local ABC affiliate WJLA shows Kerry leading with 32%, followed by both Clark and Edwards trailing with 17%; Dean runs at 14%. So is Kerry the front-runner in Virginia too? Perhaps. It’s only one poll and it’s from before the 7 primaries were held on February 3rd. Both Clark and Edwards see a Virginia win as crucial to keeping their campaigns alive. But if Kerry wins Virginia (too), he’s essentially got the nomination on lock.

Virginia gives away 82 delegates and has a Democratic governor. Northern Virginia is known for its D.C. suburbanites, a roaring high-tech sector, defense contractors galore and top-flight universities. It’s highly educated and generally liberal. The rest of Virginia consist of a substantial African American population and is essentially rural and conservative.
I saw Dean campaigning in one of 2003’s hot summer days in Northern Virginia’s Falls Church, but apparently he’s not competing here and hasn’t any scheduled appearances. Clark spent about half a million dollars in Northern Virginia’s notoriously pricey TV-market; his ads aren’t running anymore because of money problems. Kerry is now running very few and targeted ads. But than again, that’s in Northern Virginia. I don’t know about the things going on south from here.

I’m still sticking to my original prediction but now without adding that Kerry is definitely competing. Virginia and Tennessee may be do or die for Clark and Edwards.

UPDATE: Here’s what Terry Neal wrote on Washingtonpost.com:

This is big. Big state. Big implications. And if Edwards wins, as he's predicting he will do, it could give him big momentum. Or at least keep him in the game. Losing the state just north of his home state could prove devastating. So Edwards is going all out, running ads and campaigning hard here. A Kerry win here could nullify Edwards's claim to be the candidate most appealing to southerners. The race is thought to be between these two candidates. Clark's military background could be appealing to many voters here, and he has advertised heavily as well. But political analysts are not sensing much vitality in his campaign.
Last Thursday’s Post story on the Virginia primary said that both Clark and Edwards would be “put[ting] up television advertising in multiple media markets.” Edwards has planned to be “in Virginia until the primary.”

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