It always was a high-risk strategy. Dean, being seen as a hard-line left choice, was going to find it very difficult to pick up anything from today's elections. The plan was to have resounding wins in Iowa and New Hampshire and thus get them over the hump. The wheels came off a week before the Iowa caucus, and it's been a bad ride ever since. Due to the new method of proportional representational selection of delegates, Dean's failure to win any contest so far doesn't rule him out of the running, and failure to win any of today's won't remove him from the race either. The key state is the Wisconsin primary two weeks from now. In December, he had a 20% lead over all his rivals; if he can't capture the majority of the 87 delegates there, the Money Men will step in and demand their Menaces.
But who shall stand and who will fall today? If Edwards doesn't win South Carolina, he's promised that he'll drop out. And, being the sort of person who wants to believe, I think he will, although if he loses by a few hundred votes he may decide to reconsider. I don't think anybody else will drop out after today; Kucinich and Sharpton are both nuts enough to carry on without any semblance of support, Clark might do better in some of the upcoming contests, and Lieberman, well, he's like the Zombie Candidate: no matter what you do to him, he keeps coming. Hated by most of his party! ZING! Saddled with the taint of defeat from four years ago! BOING! Even his running mate from last time would rather have a crazed left-wing lunatic who'll nationalise the all American industry and rip up NAFTA rather than support him! PING! Comes a woeful fifth in the New Hampshire primary, despite being a high-profile contender! NOTHING STOPS ZOMBIE LIEBERMAN! ZRRR!