Wednesday, February 04, 2004


As reported below, John Kerry rode a wave of momentum after his Iowa Caucuses victory to a decisive victory in New Hampshire. Howard Dean continued to fall down further in the all-important respectability meter as decided upon by the Beltway media. How did the New England candidates fare as they fanned out across the country with the likes of John Edwards and Wesley Clark? Momentum was the key for John Kerry to pick up states by virtual default, while the "favorite son" component worked for John Edwards in one state and the Churchillian efforts of Clark's blood, sweat and tears worked for him in another.

As David Brooks pointed out in the New York Times (2 days after I made the assertion), "momentum" is the key. Kerry was able to translate the momentum he gained from Iowa into victory in New Hampshire. After New Hampshire, the momentum became a self-fulfilling prophecy. He was able to coast to victories in Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, Delaware and most importantly, Missouri.

John Edwards openly admitted that his campaign would be sunk if he did not win South Carolina, where he was born. Unlike Kerry who didn't have to vary his stump speech to address sun drenched crowds in Arizona and frozen fans in North Dakota, Edwards had to and was able to craft a message tailore made for the South Carolina ear. He spoke of his humble roots and connection to the Palmetto State.

Clark too, used his neighboring home state of Arkansas to an advantage in Oklahoma. By throwing the campaign and kitchen sink into Oklahoma, Clark was able to make some noise in the Western Front but won by a hair of a percentage.

Let's take a look at the "February 7" states and their polls, pre and post-New Hampshire. THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY JANUARY 27 2004.

January 24 2004, American Research Group, South Carolina poll
John Edwards has a slim lead over John Kerry and Al Sharpton while 18% are undecided.

Edwards 21%
Kerry 17%
Sharpton 15%

January 31 2004, American Research Group, South Carolina poll
John Kerry has won New Hampshire, and favorite son John Edwards gains some respect in New Hampshire. Undecideds break for Kerry and Edwards, Sharpton and others fade.

Edwards 30%
Kerry 23%
Sharpton 10%

January 25 2004, American Research Group, Arizona poll
Kerry's Iowa victory has already wiped out Dean's spurs in the desert and Clark is nipping at his heels, Undecideds are a big factor, still.

Kerry 24%
Clark 21%

January 31 2004, American Research Group, Arizona poll
Winter Storm Kerry is felt all the way from the ski slopes of Manchester to the golf courses in the Valley of the Sun. There is a near direct correlation to the break from Undecideds to Kerry.

Kerry 32%
Clark 21%

January 25 2004, American Research Group, Oklahoma poll
Howard Dean has gone from a comfortable lead in December to single digits after the Iowa debacle. Consquently, Clark (from neighboring Arkansas) has reaped the benefits with a lead before the New Hampshire primary.

Clark 23%
Edwards 18%
Kerry 17%

January 31 2004, American Research Group, Oklahoma poll
Educated in European boarding schools, graduate of an Ivy League college, a liberal from Massachusetts named John Kerry suddenly resonates in Oklahoma? I smell post New Hampshire momentum

Clark 25%
Kerry 23%
Edwards 18%


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