Jonathon Chait makes a good observation
about Howard Dean:
Dean is winning in large part because the other candidates are handicapped by having made a realistic appraisal of what they have to do to remain viable against Bush. Dean, by escaping into political fantasy, is free to run as if there were no tension between winning over Democratic partisans and winning over people who like Bush.
Exactly. In the last series of Survivor, there was a character who called himself Johnny Fairplay, who devised a very interesting method of getting himself to the finals. He decided to be as obnoxious and as big a jerk as possible, on the theory that nobody would consider him a threat to win the vote of the jury, and therefore they would be happy to have him be the other finalist. He freely admitted that he didn't know how he was going to win once he got to the finals, but even the second place finisher would get $100,000.
That's Howard's campaign strategy. He knew he was a longshot to even get the nomination, so he figured why not go for broke? He'd at least get the nomination of the Democrats, even if there was no way he'd end up getting elected in the general election.
In the end, it didn't work for Johnny Fairplay. The lady who won the last immunity challenge decided to vote him off (thereby costing herself $900.000, as the woman she took to the finals with her ended up winning the jury vote.