Gordon Corera and Justin Webb report.
Over the coming weeks and months, the Democrats' finest will battle it out to prove to the electorate they’re the candidate best equipped to beat Bush in this year’s presidential race.
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Fighting it out for the opportunity to challenge Bush for the ultimate prize.
The White House
Democratic National Committee
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Senator John Edwards: focusing on domestic policy.
He won Iowa and New Hampshire, but will Vietnam veteran Senator John Kerry win the Democratic candidature?
Howard Dean: a 'natural' Democrat, but does he have the elect ability to win the right to challenge Bush?
* Kerry secures another 5 primaries, but Edwards and Clark also have results to celebrate, as Lieberman bows out. Gordon assesses the February 3rd results.
* James Naughtie's New Hampshire diary, reflecting on John Kerry's win, the Hutton Report (as viewed from the US) and how our 'Listener's Law' has become known stateside.
* 'Elect-ability' cited by Iowa caucus members after Kerry's victory. But what now for Dean? Gordon Corera in Iowa assesses the results (21/01/04).
* Justin Webb reports from South Carolina ahead of that state's primary and examines the campaign of Howard Dean (13/01/04).
* What role will the economy, homeland security and the Iraq war play in the race for the White House? Listen to Gordon's reports from last year.
The long road to the White House begins in the town halls and homes of Iowa on January 19th when the state holds its caucus, the first test of the candidates. Then it’s on to New Hampshire on January 27th for the first full primary. After that the race broadens out with seven states voting on February 3rd and an even bigger group coming on March 2nd. By then (or soon after) we should know who the Democratic nominee will be.
The summer sees the two main parties nominating conventions when a candidate is officially crowned. The Democrats will be in Boston, the Republicans in New York. Then the final push through to election day – November 2nd as the candidates criss-cross the country and also face-off in a number of televised debates.
By all accounts, even after September 11th, America remains as evenly divided as it was in 2000 when Al Gore and George Bush deadlocked and only a few chads in Florida separated them. Many Democrats are angry over Iraq and many ordinary Americans have yet to feel the impact of any economic recovery.
But President Bush remains someone who makes most Americans feel safer and more secure. The test for the Democrats will be finding a candidate capable of harnessing the Democratic activists anger whilst also avoiding alienating middle class, middle America. Few elections are predictable and there are bound to be a few surprises before polling day.
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