Conventional wisdom says the clue is to do better than expected. So one would think Edwards shouldn't say aloud that SC is a must win for him. But he does. Why?
Even Kerry endorser Clyburn talked up Edward's chances. What will the effect of Clyburn's endorsment be?
But: CW is not always correct. And since what he says is obviously true, he might as well say it. "Telling it like it is" and "straight talk". I think that statement serves to his credit, because it is honest
, and should be recognized as such. And he sends a message: "If you don't vote for me today, you won't have a second chance. I'm serious about winning."
Short story: Sometimes playing down expectations can slow down your momentum.
Also: Taking SC (kind of) for granted may have the bonus effect of giving Edwards some momentum as the anti-Kerry in other states, like Oklahoma and Missouri, where Edwards may take away some votes from Clark because of this strategy. Like a "trickle down"-effect from the SC campaign.
One other thing: endorsements. Kos says they don't matter. I disagree. Endorsements works, but in very small increments. Endorsements matter if it comes from a person you trust, personally. In a crowded field, the might mean more, because voter's can find it difficult to make sense of it all. Therefore, Clyburn's endorsement of Kerry will matter among African-Americans in Clyburn's district. It almost vertainly will take some black votes away from Sharpton and "undecided".
But even Clyburn's endorsment can be seen as hedging the bet: Talking up Edward's chances is seen as good for Kerry, and good for Edwards, at the same time.
And here's a small poll on the effect of the Clyburn endorsment, just for fun: