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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Election What-ifs?
  Past Election What-ifs (US) (Moderators: Where is my Freistaat Preußen avatar?, Apocrypha)
  Howard Dean wins the 2004 Democratic nomination.
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Author Topic: Howard Dean wins the 2004 Democratic nomination.  (Read 5064 times)
CelticHoosier1993
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« on: February 12, 2012, 07:53:19 pm »

How do you guys think it would have played out? would Dean have what it takes to beat Dubya? or would he suffer a loss like Kerry did?
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Antonio V
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 02:57:47 pm »

He would probably win. Really, if such a bad candidate as Kerry almost won, it's not hard to see someone as charismatic as Dean kicking Dumbya's ass.
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Sasquatch
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 03:03:16 pm »

I still can't believe John Kerry was the nominee.

Sincerely,
A Former Deaniac
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GLPman
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 03:31:53 pm »

He would probably win. Really, if such a bad candidate as Kerry almost won, it's not hard to see someone as charismatic as Dean kicking Dumbya's ass.

And how is Dean better than Kerry?
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 08:53:31 pm »



Dean/Clark race
Dean would have been a better candidate because he would have picked a better VP pick that could have won a swing state Warner, Clark, Bayh, or Graham.
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NHI
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 08:58:32 pm »

Dean might have narrowly beaten Bush. 272-266 range
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nkpatel1279
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 09:19:04 pm »

Had Dean been the Democratic nominee and unseated Bush in 2004, win re-election in 2008 by a wider electoral vote margin.  Dean's Vice President would have been Biden, foreign policy experience and blue collar appeal.  Biden would be the front runner for the 2012 US Presidential Election. along with Senators Clinton and Obama.
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Ray Goldfield
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 09:34:56 pm »



Kerry made it close because he was a fairly convincing alternative as a war President, at a point where independents and centrists were still mostly behind the war on terror as a whole. Dean would not have been able to do that, and his temper likely would have hurt him too.
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CelticHoosier1993
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 02:58:30 pm »



Dean/Clark race
Dean would have been a better candidate because he would have picked a better VP pick that could have won a swing state Warner, Clark, Bayh, or Graham.

Very interesting map. Thanks for posting it.
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Klecly
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 03:38:54 pm »

Bush would've won by a 2000-esque margin.
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morgieb
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 04:44:51 pm »

Gut feel is that Bush would've won easier. Dean was too easy to perceive as a lefty.
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Jerseyrules
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 07:11:37 pm »

He would probably win. Really, if such a bad candidate as Kerry almost won, it's not hard to see someone as charismatic as Dean kicking Dumbya's ass.

And how is Dean better than Kerry?

Because he at least was firm in his convictions.  He lost because he flip-flopped repeatedly on the Iraq War and Bush Tax Cuts, particularly the former, thus alienating the average Joe, and he also came off as too "richy rich"; Romney has the same problem.
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Jerseyrules
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 07:13:14 pm »

Thus Kerry made the same mistake Willkie did in 1940; also, another mistake, similar to Willkie's, was underestimating the power of incumbency and believing polls too much.
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GLPman
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 07:27:15 pm »

By no means was Kerry a solid candidate, but I still disagree that Dean would have been a better candidate. Dean had served as Governor of Vermont for years and was still little-known. Ray Goldfield's assessment is spot-on: Dean would've come off as too much of a leftist and inexperienced, which really would've crippled him in the midst of Iraq War debate. There's no way he would've been able to debate Bush as well as Kerry did. And then there's his temper.
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Jerseyrules
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 07:38:06 pm »

By no means was Kerry a solid candidate, but I still disagree that Dean would have been a better candidate. Dean had served as Governor of Vermont for years and was still little-known. Ray Goldfield's assessment is spot-on: Dean would've come off as too much of a leftist and inexperienced, which really would've crippled him in the midst of Iraq War debate. There's no way he would've been able to debate Bush as well as Kerry did. And then there's his temper.

He'd come across as strong and a man of conviction IMO.
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Deano1001
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2012, 11:32:44 pm »

If Dean doesn't have a melt down, then he is a much more exciting candidate to win the nomination then Kerry. He very well could of gotten the base riled up, he had grass roots support with the Deanites, and could be the first candidate to use the internet as a fund raising and grass roots support getter. Could Dean of won in 2004 in the GE? Maybe. But it would come down to what the campaign ends up being about. Dean didn't have the record that Kerry did, so foreign policy is a weaker issue with him but if he can effectively portray Bush as an elitist giving tax cuts to the rich, and excite the base enough to raise voter turnout across the board then he could of totally won.
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Jerseyrules
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2012, 02:04:02 am »

If Dean doesn't have a melt down, then he is a much more exciting candidate to win the nomination then Kerry. He very well could of gotten the base riled up, he had grass roots support with the Deanites, and could be the first candidate to use the internet as a fund raising and grass roots support getter. Could Dean of won in 2004 in the GE? Maybe. But it would come down to what the campaign ends up being about. Dean didn't have the record that Kerry did, so foreign policy is a weaker issue with him but if he can effectively portray Bush as an elitist giving tax cuts to the rich, and excite the base enough to raise voter turnout across the board then he could of totally won.

This is what I have been trying to say, albeit less eloquently than you did.  However, the Democrats would do worse in Congressional races, IMO, in order to ensure a Dean victory, as they would likely divert congressional funds towards the presidential race to make up for the surely wide gap in the initial post-convention polls.
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Clamdick McClaw
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2013, 11:11:36 am »

Dean would've won.  He was a passionate, headstrong candidate that provided a true antithesis to Bush.  



Dean: 50%, 298 EV

Bush: 49%, 240 EV

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NHI
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2013, 02:40:51 pm »


Bush: 356 (53%)
Dean: 182 (45%)
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ask_not
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2013, 05:35:45 pm »

Dean: 57%, 298 EV
Bush: 50%, 240 EV
Howard Dean would of won but it would of been a nailbiter.warne rmay of been his runningmate.
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PolitiJunkie
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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2013, 06:01:08 pm »
« Edited: June 11, 2013, 06:02:48 pm by PolitiJunkie »

Karl Rove thought that Bush would beat Dean by a 1980 Reagan margin, if Dean had been the 2004 nominee.

Karl Rove also thought that Romney would beat Obama in 2012, with a minimum of 285 EVs and a maximum of 352 EVs.




Addressing the original question, I'm torn. If we look at this simply as an election of ideals, in which the right beat the left, Dean would presumably lose worse than Kerry because he was even farther left. Factoring in other factors, such as experience, temperament, name recognition, etc, he is also a weaker candidate than Kerry indicating a larger Bush win.

However, something sends me in the other direction. Despite the factors I mentioned in the last paragraph, I think Dean would be a better candidate. Both Gore and Kerry were fairly uncharismatic candidates. I wouldn't call Bush "charismatic," but he was definitely the happier warrior compared to Gore and Kerry in 2000 and 2004. Dean would be infinitely more charismatic, inspirational, etc than Kerry. Perhaps more so than Obama. Dean would be the inspiring candidate, which would probably raise voter turnout a lot. He would do better amongst youth and minorities. He also might turn out a lot of people that don't usually vote or are just apathetic to politics. Dean would have also picked a better running mate, one that would have provided him with both idealogical and geographic diversity and would have used this in an electorally advantageous way.

So my first and my final instinct tells me it would be a Dean victory, with about 51-52% of the popular vote and about 275-290 electoral votes.
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2013, 06:10:40 pm »


Bush: 416 (56% PV)
Dean: 122 (42% PV)
Others: 0 (2% PV)

Bush wins a comfortable near-landslide victory.
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