John Kerry Takes Lead Into New Hampshire Primary, Howard Dean Second

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry Takes Lead Into New Hampshire Primary, Howard Dean Second

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 26, 2004

Concord, NH ( — With New Hampshire’s primary right around the corner, Howard Dean is making up some of the ground he lost after John Kerry won the Iowa caucuses.

According to a Reuters/MSNBC/Zogby poll released Sunday, Kerry led Dean 30 to 23 percent over the course of the three-day tracking poll. However, when looking only at Saturday’s results, Kerry’s lead over Dean shrank to 3 points, 28 to 25.

The tracking poll showed Wesley Clark dropping one percentage point to 13 percent and John Edwards and Joseph Lieberman both gaining to 9 percent. About 13 percent of New Hampshire Democrats remain undecided, but that number inched upward on Saturday indicating that voters may be taking one last hard look at the candidates before making up their minds.

Though the race is tightening, pollster John Zogby says it is Kerry’s to lose. However, Dean, who was up by more than 20 points before the Iowa loss, said he is poised for a comeback.

Meanwhile, Edwards and Kerry were tied for the lead in South Carolina with several rivals within striking distance, a poll released Sunday showed.

Edwards, a native of South Carolina and now senator in neighboring North Carolina, was at 21 percent and Kerry was at 17 percent. Al Sharpton was at 15 percent, the only state where he rises above nominal support, while Clark had 14 percent in the American Research Group poll. Dean had the support of 9 percent and Lieberman only 5 percent.

An Arizona Republic poll published on Sunday showed Kerry with 19 percent, Clark with 17 percent, Dean with 14, Edwards with 9 and Lieberman with six. Thirty-four percent were undecided.

The New Hampshire primary results will affect those numbers and it is possible one or more candidates will bow out of the primary race after the results from the New England state are in.

Other states holding contests on Feb. 3 along with South Carolina and Arizona are Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oklahoma.