The Note

"A Dean win? An upset of front-runners Richard Gephardt and John Kerry? It could happen. Early polling in Iowa shows Dean in third place and closing in on those leading rivals. No other candidate shows his kind of forward motion. Polls show Dean has come farther in Iowa than any of his rivals."

"He's an impressive person who has a young, energetic message," said Don Sontag, a real-estate developer here. Sontag, the vice chair of the Cass County Democratic Party, is uncommitted but likes Dean a lot. "I look at it as who is the most electable," he said. "Governor Dean has a new and somewhat different message than we've seen from the old Democratic standbys and I think that's kind of refreshing and I think that will catch a lot of attention. It's kind of a Jimmy Carter, new person, new message campaign." LINK Roll Call 's Chris Cillizza talks with some Democratic strategists about what effect nominee Dean would have on the down ballot races next year.

"At the center of many D.C.-based Democrats' worries is Dean's outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq and his call for a complete rollback of President Bush's tax cuts, positions that some strategists argue makes him unattractive — even potentially alienating — to swing voters needed to win competitive House and Senate seats."

"'If Dean is the nominee it will make 1972 look competitive,' said one Democratic strategist not aligned with any of the presidential campaigns, referring to the resounding defeat of Senator George McGovern (D-S.D) by President Richard Nixon. 'Members and candidates in marginal seats will be running for the hills.'"

"Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas), a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, refused to even accept the possibility that Dean could be the nominee."

"'The party wants to win,' explained Frost. 'We need to be strong on national defense.'"

"Dean's critics in Washington, Trippi said, suffer from a 'circular firing squad' mentality."

"'Always expect this when you are the guy who is coming out of nowhere and everybody has already signed up' with other candidates, Trippi said."

EDWARDS

Senator Edwards, who has spent quite a bit of time of Tennessee, will today announce the endorsements of several top statewide Democratic elected officials:

"State House Majority Leader Kim McMillan, Majority Floor Leader Rob Briley and Portland area state Representative Mike McDonald," according to the campaign.

Roll Call 's Chris Cillizza reports Senator Edwards' indecision about his senate seat may becoming costly for North Carolina Democrats.

"As Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) remains publicly undecided on whether he will simultaneously seek the presidency and re-election to his Senate seat, two prominent Democratic fundraisers are set to hold events for Rep. Richard Burr (R) prior to the June 30 deadline."

"Restaurateur R.V. Owens, a prominent fundraiser in the eastern part of the state, and Charlotte banker Jim Hance will help Burr raise money for his nascent Senate bid over the next 10 days. Both helped collect funds for Democratic Senate nominee Erskine Bowles, who is poised to run for the seat if Edwards does not, in 2002. Although exact figures were not available, knowledgeable sources estimated that Hance and Owens raised several hundred thousand dollars for Bowles in the previous cycle."

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