During the time I was in New Hampshire, and especially in the last couple days, there was lots of chatter to the effect that the Dean campaign was all but out of money. There was (and is) really no other way to explain their decision to pull their ads down from all the post-New Hampshire contests unless they were facing an acute funding crisis. (After all, assuming a good showing in New Hampshire, they would pretty quickly need to start advertising in at least a few of those states anyway.) And this article in Thursday’s Post pretty much confirms it.
Dean raised more than $40 million. And it’s apparently almost completely gone.
According to the Post article, the Dean camp believes he can essentially hang back through the February 3rd contests “remain[ing] credible by picking up enough votes to win some delegates … even without renewed advertising or a first-place finish.”
He’ll then make a push in Michigan and Washington, which come later in the week, banking on the fact that these caucus states give more advantage to organizational strength.
Frankly, I think we all know that these are the sorts of things campaigns say just a bit before they give up the ghost, focusing on ‘winning delegates’ rather than actually winning any contests — sort of like the hapless dry goods salesman who loses money on every sale but thinks he’s going to make it up in volume.
There are other problems with this approach too. The most recent poll of Michigan — out earlier this week — shows Kerry holding a 37% to 14% lead over Dean.