Saturday, January 24, 2004

Played Out

Kerry has now officially peaked in New Hampshire (76% favorable translates into an E/P ratio -- estimation/personality, sort of an inverted price/earnings -- of about 200). Will he start repeating Dean's mistakes in Iowa?

Mistake number one was: The Parade of Endorsements. This is a popular mistake amongst front-runners because it allows them to easily fill a news cycle without having to do anything or say anything. It also assuages their ego needs. Voters see it as self-congratulation and are prone to punish it immediately. See Dole, Bob, 1988.

Mistake number two was: Prevent Defense. Front-runners often decide that a successful day is one where no mistakes are made. Don't say anything other than "Bush lied" and "Bush is bad." Kerry will be prone to this kind of mistake. See Dole, Bob, 1996.

Mistake number three was: "Process." The Deaniacs talked about their org chart and their "ones," just as the Reaganites did in Iowa in 1980. Both lost, badly. There is creeping process talk coming out of the Kerry campaign.