HOWARD DEAN DROP-OUT - Mitch Perry

02/18/04

Howard Dean effectively ended his is presidential campaign today, a day after his distant 3rd-place finish in the Wisconsin Democratic primary. (roll tape#1 o.q."our country")

For now, the former Vermont governor did not endorse either of his top rivals, Senators John Kerry or John Edwards. He called both men before his announcement to tell them his decision.

Dean said he will not run as a 3rd Party candidate (roll tape#2 o.q."whatever it takes..applause")

As Dean spoke, he was flanked by his wife Judy, a physician whose rare appearance on the campaign trail had been the subject of discussion of whether she was a proper political wife. Dean drew cheers when he saluted her for starting the debate in the country about the role of political wives (roll tape#3 o.q."political career")

Dean's free-fall from the spot of top contender for the Democratic nomination began less than a month ago, with his shocked 3rd place finish in the Iowa caucus, and it continued downhill from there with yesterday's 3rd place finish in Wisconsin.....In all Dean was winless in 17 states....

He exits the active race certain in the knowledge that he will live on in the annals of U.S. politics for shattering Democratic fund-raising records with $41 million collected in a single year -- as well as on late-night television for his high energy concession speech on the night of the Iowa caucuses that was repeated endlessly on cable television for a week afterwards...

Once a long-shot candidate, the Internet phenomenon filled his campaign coffers and attracted thousands of supporters through the spring and summer, pushing him to the head of the crowded Democratic field.

Today Dean said he wanted to use his enormous grass-roots network to continue the effort to transform the Democratic Party and to change the country (roll tape#5 o.q."for orindary people again"_

Patrick Cannon is Communications Director for Florida For Dean. He said today's announcement was NOT unexpected, but was undoubtedly disappointing for his hard core supporters (roll tape#5a spine transplant")

And Patrick Cannon from Florida For Dean says that he and many other supporters await news from the Dean For American group about what they can do next...But he says that Dean supporters are vowing to maintain the principals that came together under the Howard Dean candidacy (roll tape#6 o.q."a lot of work to do")

The former Vermont governor had insisted that Wisconsin was virtually a must-win state for his candidacy, but he gathered only 18 percent of the vote, compared with 40 percent for Senator John Kerry, the front runner, and 34 percent for Senator John Edwards...

Based on the polls, Edwards strong 2nd was a remarkable turnaround from the 4th place numbers he was stuck at less than a week ago...

Throughout the past week, Edwards focused on job losses in Wisconsin -- 80,000 manufacturing jobs have evaporated there in the past few years. Last week, he met with workers for Tower Automotive, which had just announced that it was moving some of its production operations to Mexico, at a cost of 500 jobs.

Wisconsin's Primaries allow for Republicans and Independents to vote...and Edwards took home the majority of independent voters, leading Lawrence University Political Science Professor Christian Grose to tell today's Boston Globe, "Clearly the Democratic Primary is not over...Edwards won swing voters in a swing state.... . It makes me wonder if Kerry's electability is as great as people think."

Edwards still faces an uphill fight. With limited resources and still only one electoral win, in South Carolina, he must now campaign nationwide, with the Super Tuesday primary looming two weeks away. Advertising in the 10 far-flung states that vote on March 2ndill be prohibitively costly for his campaign. He has already said he will rely primarily on the news media to spread his message. After yesterday, he is virtually guaranteed more coverage.

Edwards may still be viable for Florida's March 9th Primary....Tampa resident Sherilyn Magby describes herself as a 'huge' John Edwards supporter.......She says she' s been behind the North Carolina Senator said he declared his candidacy 13 months ago.

Like many supporters for Howard Dean, Magby says she was relatively apolitical before this year, but factors like what happened here in Florida in 2000 compelled her to get more active this year (roll tape# 1 o.q." to the table")

And Sherilyn Magby says she believes that the longer Edwards sticks around, the more attractive his message is to other Democrats (roll tape#2 o.q."that kind")

A new CNN/ Gallup Poll released today that John Edwards is favored by 10% points against George W. Bush, if the 2 were to face each other in an election today, which of course, they are not.

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