Kos is miffed that Sabato omits Dean from the analysis; I tend to agree that the omission of Dean from this list seems odd. (In Sabato’s defense, this analysis was published in June – meaning that Dean’s shocking fundraising performance was not yet known and his status as “insurgent” was still the accepted conventional wisdom.)
To recap, here’s where Dean stands:
- Statistically tied for the lead in California.
- Statistically tied for the lead in New Hampshire.
- Gaining in Iowa.
- Raised more money than any other candidate in Q2.
- Will enjoy a fundraising windfall in January when matching funds are disbursed; nearly half of Dean’s contributions are matchable (compared with the average of 14-15%). This could result in a war chest of $12-15m going into the primaries, in addition to whatever he has in the bank after raising money through Q3 and Q4 of this year (I’m assuming he raises another $20m this year. That’s very aggressive, I realize. Even a more conservative estimate still reinforces my point.)
- Is demonstrating an uncanny knack for leveraging his advantage on the Internet to spend less and raise more — see today’s challenge against the Bush/Cheney ticket as another example — the campaign will have raised over a half million dollars from over 9,000 contributors. How’d they do it? An invitation-only $3/plate turkey lunch.
- Has more contributors to his campaign than any other, and is trending to widen the gap.
- Has more volunteers actively involved in the campaign — with six months to go before the primaries — than any other campaign.
While I think the debate about electability is premature — the voters will figure that out for themselves without the pundits decreeing who’s electable — I do think it’s not too early to identify top tier candidates from second tier candidates, etc.
By any objective measure, Dean belongs in the top tier. Whether you think he’s the frontrunner or not is beside the point… but I think it’s an eminently fair request to ask that Sabato’s next analysis include Governor Dean.
The Crystal Ball site is due for a July update. Think Dean will be in that update?