Digby has an article that makes the same point I did, and includes some actual figures from Clinton’s 1992 primary campaign.
At least we won’t have to go through another losing nominating process like the last time we had a large field. In 1992, they didn’t even hold the New Hampshire primary until the end of February, fergawdsake. Bigtime Loser Clinton won just 3 of his first 14 contests. In fact, he finished fourth four times, often behind “Uncommitted.”
[read the whole article for the numbers…]
As everyone keeps pointing out to me, that was a long, long time ago. Everything has changed completely. There is no point in even thinking about it, now.
Still, there is one important lesson to be learned from the past. By drawing out the primaries the way they did, the Democrats had far too much time to think about who they were voting for and they often voted for someone who wasn’t a winner. If Bill Clinton couldn’t win Iowa and New Hampshire, he had no business being the nominee. But, nobody told the voters or the press (who were fixated on Ross Perot at the time) so he managed to eke out the nomination when it was obvious that either Tom Harkin or Paul Tsongas should have run against George Bush.
It is a good thing we’ve learned from our mistakes. We won’t let that happen again.