Monday, February 02, 2004

Democrats only 

The South Carolina Democratic Party is forcing voters to declare that they are Democrats by signing a loyalty oath before allowing them to vote in the primary tomorrow. Michael Graham says it's probably illegal and also stupid for a state party that desperately needs moderates to vote for them in the general elections. (Via Instapundit)

The conventional wisdom is that this will hurt Edwards and help Kerry because the independents who might be discouraged from voting overwhelmingly support Edwards, while Democrats support Kerry. I think, however, that this will help Edwards by lowering expectations. Edwards no longer needs to finish first because he already has a built-in excuse for losing to Kerry. If Kerry bests Edwards in South Carolina, the pundits won't give credit to Kerry for beating an opponent on their home turf. Instead, the focus will be on the missing moderate vote. And if Edwards still pulls it out, the win will be worth much more to him than it would have otherwise.
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