Howard Dean's presidential bid was notable for many things,
including the mixed reaction it drew from political scientists. Many
scholars found Dean's ultimate failure predictable. Longstanding
political science wisdom suggests several explanations for Dean's
defeat: the central issue of electability, which seemed to weigh heavily
against his campaign; the fact that primary voters are more moderate than
party activists; the well-documented difficulty of regaining lost
momentum. Less systematic factors—such as numerous verbal gaffes and
one infamous scream—surely contributed as well.
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