Considering that 34 congressional districts now held by Democrats voted for Bush in 2000, many Democrats fret about a ticket headed by Dean. But by now Democrats may be stuck with him because nominating him might be the least ruinous option. Not nominating him could give Democrats in 2004 a year akin to 1912 for the Republicans, when a seriously annoyed Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, ran a third party candidacy and finished second (behind Woodrow Wilson), ahead of the Republican nominee, who was the incumbent president, William Howard Taft.
Dean's dash from obscurity to dominance in the Democratic nomination contest may be the second-most impressive example of spontaneous political combustion in living memory. But consider what it is second to: George Wallace's 1968 achievement of getting his name on the presidential ballots of all 50 states.....
.... consequential third party candidate needs at least one of three things: a single burning issue, a vivid personality or a regional base (to facilitate a breakthrough in the Electoral College). Wallace had all three. Dean, a George Wallace for the campuses, lacks only a regional base (faculty clubs do not constitute a region).
Does Dean seem like the sort who might lose the nomination with a gracious smile and a graceful quip and retire to Vermont to practice medicine? By leading his true believers out of the Democratic Party and running as an independent, he might win more votes than the Democratic nominee. By now, the Democrats best option might be to take their medicine -- the doctor -- however bitter.
I am starting to get the impression that the right is starting to becpme concerned about Dean. This is a reach and I normally think Will is pretty good even though I don't agree with him politically. Anyone who loves baseball as much as he does is okay by me.