The Right Coast

April 19, 2004
Dean's Pollster Tells Some
By Maimon Schwarzschild

Interesting piece by Howard Dean's pollster, Paul Maslin, on the collapse of the Dean campaign. Maslin writes in the May Atlantic. Maslin is very plausible on how the Iowa implosion looked from inside Dean's campaign; and fairly plausible about what, at least in part, really went wrong for Dean. Of course, Maslin doesn't even consider the possibility that Dean's positions were wrong in substance, and that (even) most Iowa Democrats recognised as much.

Maslin surely has plenty of harsh things to say. He is offhandedly contemptuous of Dean's opponents: Richard Gephardt's "union minions"; Joe Lieberman's "diatribes". But he is scarcely kinder about Dean himself. "[O]ur candidate's erratic judgment, loose tongue, and overall stubbornness wore our spirits down".

Maslin is pretty kind about Dean's pollsters, on the other hand.

I wonder whether, before writing his piece, Maslin ran a focus group on how much loyalty, if any, he should show towards Howard Dean.