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The Incredible Shrinking Primary


With the endorsements of the state’s two largest newspapers going to the hapless and hopeless Joe Lieberman, is it time to officially declare the South Carolina primary irrelevant?

The local press is certainly doing their part, largely ignoring the issue attacks Dean and (to a lesser degree) Edwards are making against Kerry and skipping the obvious ideological chasm between SC voters and Kerry. With the focus solely on the polls, the campaign styles and “man in the street” interviews, the typical South Carolina voter who relies on the local paper doesn’t know any more about these candidates than the voters of Alaska or Hawaii.

This may explain why the candidates rely so much on momentum and “bounce.” It’s the only thing the press covers.

What’s the point of the editorial page saying “Vote for the loser–it’s important,” if the news pages haven’t told the voters WHY it’s important.

There are only two scenarios for SC: Edwards wins, and nobody cares. Or Kerry pulls an upset by even .0001% of the vote, and immediately becomes the nominee of the party. The latter is a huge story. The other is irrelevant.


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