As of 4:00pm EDT today, Dean's campaign had received close to $6.7 million dollars -- mainly in Internet contributions from grassroots activists.
"'He'll beat everybody,' Steve Elmendorf, a senior adviser to Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, said of Dr. Dean."
What's interesting about the media coverage is how differently he's perceived. The Democratic Establishment despises him. They see him as so far left that he's no longer a Democrat. The FReepers are jumping with glee at his numbers -- even donating themselves. They want him to win the nomination, as they too believe he stands no chance in the general.
Meanwhile, the activists on the left see him as a conservative. He doesn't support much of the left's social initiatives or economic policies. He's (wearily) pro-death penalty. He's anti-medicinal marijuana. Hard to distinguish from a Republican.
The truth of the matter is that he's largely centrist. It's just that the Democrats have moved so far to the right in response to Bush, they can't see it.
I disagree with Dean on numerous issues. I might identify more with Kucinich than with Dean -- I'm not sure. I disagree with Kucinich on many issues as well. But democracy is about compromise, and I'm compromising. I believe Dean is electable. The MoveOn.org "Second Question" is foretelling. 86% of MoveOn's base would "enthusiastically support" Dean if he were the nominee. Higher than any other candidate.
Dean has broad-appeal. Independents are fed-up with Bush -- they want an option to vote for.
I don't accept the "support Kucinich, to shift all campaigns to the left" argument -- I don't want to shift the campaigns to the left. I want to get rid of Bush. I want an electable candidate. I am willing to compromise on certain issues to rid the country of Bush and the Democratic Establishment.
Another 4 years of Bush will only cement the changes that are already happening -- the K Street Project, the new Washington Establishment, the rightward shift of American politics.
If we can replace Bush with a man we are indifferent to, that can be nothing but a good thing.