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February 3, 2004
The General Wins A Pyrrhic Victory in Oklahoma

Wesley Clark finally did what Howard Dean has yet to do: he won a state primary. Clark just barely edged out Edwards in Oklahoma, Clark's so-called last stand, by less than 2,000 votes, and Kerry coming in three percentage points behind. Can we say recount? No need; the delegates will be split almost evenly between the three candidates, making Oklahoma a meaningless victory for Clark. The General needed to prove he could win a state outright after coming in third while focusing all his efforts in New Hampshire. He can point to this and claim victory, but in truth everyone knows that Clark cannot compete against Kerry nationally, or probably even Edwards regionally in the South.

To emphasize this, he's coming in second in neighboring New Mexico, trailing Kerry 37%-23% and barely leading a dormant Dean by three percentage points. He's trailing Kerry in Arizona as well by a wider margin, 43%-27%, and these were the states in which he supposedly had the greatest strength.

Clark managed to bump Kerry off of the TV with his victory speech for Oklahoma. "We won the non-New England portion of New Hampshire"?? Did part of the Granite State migrate south? I think the General doth protest too much. He won't get another chance this election cycle, so perhaps it's best he gets it out of his system now.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 3, 2004 10:39 PM

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