While I thought Dean would be the winner last night because of his organization, I did not think his internet campaign would win him much if anything. I hate to fall back on old blogger posts that are no longer around, but there’s a comment to that effect there. PoliBlog agrees. Now others will too.
Here’s why I didn’t think it would work: new voters. Unless you are 18 and just able to register, if you are 40 and not registered, there is probably a good reason — either you are a felon or disaffected.
I wrote below about one of my campaign’s very successful efforts to register evangelicals. The candidate was a Baptist minister. During the primary, the Christian voters who had never participated before put us into the runoff.
But, as soon as the opponent started attacking my guy as a run of the mill politician, the Christian voters became disaffected. Enough voted for us and those who were party members and Christian voters were really turned off. But word spread and we crashed.
Dean has the same problem. He has inspired the disaffected. His Achilles heel is that when his opponents start portraying him as just an ordinary politician, many of them will return to their disaffected state and feel betrayed.
The more I think of it, the less likely I think he will win the nomination without rebuilding a base.
Again, if you are 40 and not registered, there is probably a reason.