The Corner

Kerry V. Dean

Here is what one plugged-in Democrat makes of the New Hampshire numbers that are now buzzing around political circles and have Dean within five points of Kerry:

“Kerry is the frontrunner. If these numbers hold up, Dean will try to spin it, but he’s in trouble without a win. The road doesn’t get any easier for Dean. The polls in a lot of later states showed Dean absolutely crashing. It’s not clear whether they were doing this before Iowa or whether it’s a reaction to the rant. But he’s got some ground to make up. If nobody drops out, he can go hard left and win some states with pluralities. It’s also unclear how much money he has spent. As for Kerry, he’s got some things to prove on February 3rd too. I’d be surprised by Edwards’ showing if these numbers hold up. But if Clark finishes behind Edwards, he’s got a real problem.”

More on Dean:

“Some of his apparent comeback was just natural after the exaggerated reaction to the rant. And he’s changed the way he campaigns but he’s probably boxed himself in, because so much of his campaign was based on anger. I don’t know how much Deaniacs are interested in hearing him talk about the balanced budget. New Hampshire was really Ground Zero for his operation. It was an Amway strategy to absolutely solidify their core vote. So it makes sense that he still has support there. We always knew he had vulnerabilities when you move to the more conservative states. He was hoping to overcome that on a wave of hype. Well, the hype is gone. Dean has to get to February 17th, when he could do well in Wisconsin. And after that, he has to get to Super Tuesday on March 2nd which is a way long off.”