Kerry Moves Towards Front-runner Status In New Hampshire
Three polls on the New Hampshire primary show the effect of Kerry’s Iowa win on the voters of the Granite State. The latest Zogby and American Research Group polls show that Kerry has zoomed past Wesley Clark into a near-deadlock with Howard Dean for the lead. Both polls show only a two-point spread between Kerry and Dean, with ARG having it at 26%-24% Dean over Kerry (Clark at 18%), and Zogby having it at 25%-23% Dean over Kerry, with Clark at 16%. But a new poll from the Boston Herald out today shows Kerry zooming ahead of Dean by ten points, 31%-21%, with Clark once again at 16%.
Kerry will have the target on his back in tomorrow night’s debate, which is the likely consequence of becoming the new front-runner. The media is milking Dean’s post-caucus speech for all it's worth, in what looks to be an effort to bury the guy. But still, when Letterman makes you a laughingstock, it's hard to overcome.
Most media outlets, Fox included, are giving good and positive media coverage to the Kerry and Edwards campaigns, which is the inevitable outcome of a media pack all following the same storyline. Clark, following a Chris Lehane script, has resorted to denigrating Kerry for only being a Lieutenant and not having the executive skills that Clark says he has from his days as a General, obviously forgetting that Kerry was Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. Although Clark took pains later today to back away from his earlier shots at Kerry for only being a Lieutenant, Kerry’s campaign was quick to point out that there were more Lieutenants out there than Generals. Besides, I don’t think Clark really wants to get into a comparison of Kerry’s war exploits compared to his.
Kerry is the frontrunner now, whether he likes it or not, and he’ll have to hold up to the pressure and acquit himself well tomorrow night.