Wednesday, December 17, 2003

(UPDATE: Good Lord -- did I really say "double digits" in what I wrote below? That's nuts. I plead temporary insanity. But I stand by the general thrust of what I wrote nonetheless.)

Yeah, I've read that the Gore snub has given a "jolt of life" to Joe Lieberman's campaign, but it occurs to me that, of the six leading Democrats, Lieberman is the least electable.

Oh, sure -- Lieberman, Dean, Kerry, Gephardt, Clark, and Edwards all poll roughly the same in a head-to-head matchup with Bush right now. But there's a good chance the presidential election isn't going to be a head-to-head matchup. There's a good chance Nader's going to run again.

Of the top six, which Democrat is most likely to alienate progressives? Lieberman. His candidacy would give Nader his biggest vote. Now, unless you're one of those people who think Nader could actually win -- sorry, I'm not -- that means the anti-Bush vote could be very badly split.

Every other candidate in the race has at least some potential for appealing to progressive voters. Lieberman, by contrast, seems to consider it a badge of honor that he pisses progressives off.

So: If Lieberman gets the nomination, Nader cracks double digits. And Bush wins -- handily.

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