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Inside Politics

Analysts examine Tuesday's results


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(CNN) -- CNN analysts and contributors considered the impact of Sen. John Kerry's five victories Tuesday, Sen. John Edwards' win in South Carolina, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark's showing in Oklahoma, and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's future in the race.

"This is the first time we've had a sample in any state of Latino voters. And what we discovered is, they voted for John Kerry by a big margin. Kerry carried African-American voters in a number of states and he carried Latino voters. His appeal to minorities has clearly been demonstrated in a number of states tonight, including Latino voters in Arizona, where he beat Clark and Dean.

"Also an important constituency in Arizona, one of the main reasons why he carried that state --seniors. Seniors were one-third of the voters in Arizona -- a lot of retirees there. Kerry clearly dominated that category, winning almost half of the votes of seniors, twice as many as Wesley Clark. So two crucial constituencies in Arizona -- seniors and Hispanics -- both locked up by John Kerry."

-- CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider

"All the candidates were running on electability. John Kerry now wins in several different time zones. He's won at least six of the first nine contests and he can really lay claim to the electability issue.

"And if Wes Clark can hang on in Oklahoma, then I think we'll have a three-way race starting Wednesday morning. I think there will be three very serious candidates -- Kerry still the front-runner, Edwards coming on strong and Wes Clark -- it looks like if he can hold on in Oklahoma, that he's a pretty serious candidate, too."

-- CNN analyst and co-host of Crossfire Paul Begala

"The problem with the tremendously precipitous decline of Howard Dean is electability. The voters just don't think he can win, and the interview on "Larry King Live" tonight indicated why.

"He was whining. He was talking about the media being mean to him. He was talking about the other candidates being unfair, and that doesn't look like a person who is going to stand up to the Republicans and George W. Bush.

"That's why a guy like John Kerry or John Edwards looks good to the Democrats. Now, Wes Clark ought to look like he's tough, but he's been a very poor candidate. This is a business of being a candidate for president, which is not for amateurs. It takes professional candidates to really look good, and the two new boys in running for president, Dean and Clark, didn't do very well."

-- CNN analyst and co-host of Crossfire Robert Novak

"Howard Dean is in trouble. He has to win [in Washington or Michigan] this weekend. Unless he wins this weekend, I think Howard Dean is finished. He has to win one of those states. It is clear to me that Howard Dean is no longer a viable national candidate unless he can win a state and win a state quickly."

-- CNN political contributor Donna Brazile

"We're talking about Howard Dean and where he is with the delegates -- he'd like to get a win. And we've heard a lot about Wisconsin. But I just got off the phone with someone very close to the campaign who says that they may very quietly be looking to try and score a very small, but an early win, even earlier than expected, on the [February 8] in Maine, that they have moved most of their New Hampshire organization to Maine."

-- CNN political contributor Carlos Watson

"In terms of super delegates, those Dean numbers, you have to watch, because those are unpledged delegates. They are Congress people. They're governors. They're party officials. They have the right to say at any time, 'We don't think so anymore,' whereas the delegates you win on primary nights are pledged to you. So these numbers can change even more rapidly than they've changed so far."

-- CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield


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