Who will drop out first?
Here's my thoughts on how the Democratic primary season will play out. Specifically related to the question of who will drop out first. I think Sharpton will be in the race all the way to the convention. He isn't in this to win (I don't think he's naive enough to think he can actually get the nomination) but to use the platform. Kucinich could go the distance as well for the same reason. I think Braun will be out pretty quickly. I really can't understand why she is in there at all. Lieberman will probably fall soon after Iowa/New Hampshire. I just don't see any support for him outside the DNC establishment. Gephardt's future depends on how well he does in Iowa I think. If he comes in third (after Kerry and Dean) then he will be gone soon after. That leave's Edwards, Dean, Kerry, and Graham. Edwards will probably last a long time because he looks to have a pretty sizable war chest by the time the primaries start. But I don't think he will get much electoral support. If he loses badly in South Carolina then he will probably be gone very soon after. Graham is a mystery to me right now. I don't give him much chance since he got such a late start in the campaign, but he could provide some interesting fireworks on the road since he is very willing to hammer the Bush foreign policy. I think the nomination battle will come down to Kerry and Dean. Who will win I couldn't say. The money and name recognition favors Kerry. But Dean has a strong grassroots organization that could help him overcome the money advantages of Kerry while his status as the underdog could give him some advantage in the press coverage (the press is a sucker for David vs. Goliath stories). Kerry does have one other advantage over Dean: the support of the party establishment. It's unfortunate, but true, that the establishment may decide that Kerry is their man and they will go out of there way to sabotage Dean's campaign. I think this would be an extraordinary mistake since it would leave a lot of bitter feelings in its wake. But I don't trust the present leadership NOT to be that petty.