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Battle Shifts To New Hampshire

Two days after the stunning results of the Iowa caucus, the focus of the political world shifted to New Hampshire, where the Democratic presidential candidates were seeking either to bask in Iowa's afterglow or put it behind them.

With Tuesday's first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary approaching, Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards tried to capitalize on their surprising success in the Hawkeye State, as former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean tried to shake off his disappointing third-place finish there.

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who skipped Iowa to campaign in the Granite State, were also on the move.

Polls suggest that Kerry was enjoying a major bounce from Iowa. North Carolina's Edwards received little apparent boost.

A WBZ/Boston Herald poll of 400 people showed Massachusetts' Kerry moving into the lead in New Hampshire with 27 percent to Dean's 24 percent, within the 5 point margin of error. Clark trailed with 17 percent, Edwards 9 percent and Lieberman 4 percent. In the poll, Kerry has gained seven points in a day's time, as Dean has shed four points.

A Suffolk University survey of 400 people found Dean with only a three-point, 23-20 lead over Kerry, within the 4.9 percent margin of error. Clark was in third with 15 percent. Edwards and Lieberman were both the choice of 6 percent.

In both polls, however, a substantial number of respondents were undecided. More than a quarter of voters were uncommitted in the Suffolk survey.

The surprise top-two finishes by Kerry and Edwards in Iowa were already paying off in terms of campaign contributions. Each raised tens of thousands of dollars in donations over their Web sites within hours of the Iowa caucus.

CBS News Reporter Alison Schwartz says Edwards' campaign took in $100,000 in online contributions during a five-hour period after the Iowa results were announced.

Kerry, Edwards and Dean all tried to capitalize on Monday's events with fund-raising e-mails. They urged donors to give in time to make a difference in the next big test, New Hampshire's primary next Tuesday.

"I need your help, and I need it immediately to continue the surge in New Hampshire," Kerry wrote Tuesday. "Please contribute today, as much as you can afford."

Along with his e-mail, Kerry challenged donors to help him raise $365,000 over the Internet on Tuesday — marking the 365 days left before the 2005 inauguration — and by day's end had met the goal.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire supporters of Rep. Dick Gephardt, who withdrew from the race following a disappointing fourth-place finish in Iowa, are landing with other campaigns. Kerry says at least 25 high-profile Gephardt supporters, including a former New Hampshire state senator, now are with him. The Lieberman campaign is boasting several Gephardt activists, and the Democratic leader in New Hampshire's House went with Edwards.

Edwards' campaign may also pick up many of Gephardt's supporters in South Carolina, including labor groups and black voters.

Outside of the winning campaigns, Iowa was cause for reflection rather than celebration.

Organized labor, for example, is taking a hard look at its political influence and voter turnout operations after the two union-backed candidates — Dean and Gephardt — who were to dominate the caucuses sank instead.

Also Wednesday, President Bush's State of the Union address was the main target for the candidates, who used the occasion to tout their own proposals and question whether the president could be trusted on the war on terrorism and home front economic issues.

"I don't agree with his premise that the war in Iraq was part of the war on terror," Clark told NBC. "We really don't know why we went to war with Saddam Hussein. … Why send people to attack a country when it didn't pose an imminent threat to the United States and wasn't associated with those who did the damage on 9-11?"

Mr. Bush told the nation Tuesday night that the war on terrorism was not over. Clark commented, "It might have been if he'd stayed in Afghanistan instead of taking us into Iraq to go after Saddam Hussein."

Kerry, who watched the speech in the home of supporters in New Hampshire, said Mr. Bush failed to deliver on a promise to create 250,000 jobs last month when only 1,000 new jobs were recorded. "Americans should be able to trust that what the president tells them is true," he said.

"After four years in office, this president still doesn't understand what's happening in living rooms across this country," Kerry said.

Edwards said the president had no policies for ending the divide separating Americans on taxes, health care and education.

"What this president fails to understand is that we still live in two different Americas: one for the privileged few, and another for everybody else," Edwards said, repeating his campaign theme. "Instead of proposing ideas that would help heal our great divides, he is dividing us even further and believes that compassionate language and empty slogans will make working Americans forget the burdens they face every day."

Dean said the address made the case for the president's defeat in November.

"The president's speech underscored the need for replacing him with a proven, experienced leader, one who has balanced budgets and made tough decisions, and who stands up for the truth and what is right," Dean said.

Lieberman charged that the president lived in "a state of denial." He said Mr. Bush had proposed more tax cuts for those who don't need them and lacked a program to create good jobs.

In what he dubbed his own "state of the nation" speech, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich — trailing the other four Democratic candidates badly — said Mr. Bush's tax cuts combined with the Iraq war have weakened the middle class. The administration "has spent $155 billion for an unnecessary war driven by fear," Kucinich said.

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