Anyhow, I'm more confident today that at least Edwards will overtake Clark. Lieberman might, too. Does it matter? Are there only "three tickets" out of Manchester Tuesday night, as the saying goes? I 'm betting on more. Dean gets one automatically, for two reasons: First, his fundraising apparatus buys him a ticket; second, his rhetorical break with the mainstream of the party makes him "the other guy," the outsider. Edwards may get a ticket no matter what, since he's heading to supposedly friendly turf next -- South Carolina. And Kerry may win N.H., but he was supposed to anyway, way back when. A victory here may not be all the momentum he needs. If I have a prediction about Tuesday, it's this: The race will be closer than a lot of the polls indicate, and less decisive than the conventional wisdom says.
Monday, January 26, 2004
N.H. Polls: So far, I'm inclined to believe this Zogby poll over the others. It shows a tight race for first tier and second tier, which I think is accurate. I don't think Kerry is as far ahead as the ARG poll shows him (18 points over Dean). Both polls show Edwards and Lieberman rishing, mainly at a cost to Clark. I think that's accurate, too. Clark had an artificial bump from being the anti-Dean while Dean was self-destructing in Iowa. With all the candidates back north, Clark loses an edge. Any poll that doesn't show him dropping at least a few points is wrong, I think. I still worry that ARG is rolling too many independents into their sample (roughly a third of respondents, and pretty consistently). They surely have figures on the number of independents who vote in open primaries in N.H., but I'm skeptical.