John Kerry Wins a Strong Victory in New Hampshire, Dean a Distant Second

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry Wins a Strong Victory in New Hampshire, Dean a Distant Second

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 27, 2004

Concord, NH ( — With 74 percent of the precincts reporting, pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) appears to have captured the New Hampshire primary with 39 percent of the vote. Howard Dean, a former Vermont governor who backs abortion, is running a distant second with 26 percent. Former general Wesley Clark had 13 percent and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards has 12 percent.

Kerry, who won a surprising victory in the Iowa primary, will have significant momentum over the next week prior to the next round of primaries on February 3rd.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kerry announced he would begin an aggressive advertising blitz in the group of states with upcoming primaries and a strong win in New Hampshire makes it more likely that he will have additional funding available to run campaign ads.

Dean’s campaign manager, Joe Trippi, told Fox News earlier in the day that the Dean camp would be "ecstatic" if Dean took second. Such a result would mean Dean had launched a successful comeback from his third-place Iowa finish and that the battle for the Democratic nomination has become a two-man race.

However, Kerry advocates say Dean’s distant second-place finish should be compared to his 20 percent lead in the polls in New Hampshire before the Iowa caucuses.

Edwards says his fourth place finished, combined with a surprising second place showing in Iowa, means he is performing well ahead of expectations.

"I think it’s very encouraging," he said of his showing in New Hampshire.

If he wins in South Carolina, he says, and performs well in the other upcoming primaries, he could supplant Dean as the leading alternative to Kerry.

Meanwhile, Clark may have trouble justifying staying in the race after avoiding Iowa and campaigning nonstop in New Hampshire. Tuesdays results may make it more difficult for him to find campaign cash.

Political observers say it is possible that Sen. Joe Lieberman, who finished a distant fifth in New Hampshire and did not compete in Iowa, will drop out of the presidential race.

Arizona, South Carolina, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Delaware and North Dakota all hold primaries next Tuesday.

Michigan and Washington state hold presidential elections four days later, followed by Maine on Feb. 8, Virginia and Tennessee on Feb. 10, Wisconsin a week later, and a huge 10-state showdown March 2.