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Washington Wrap

Dotty Lynch, Douglas Kiker, Beth Lester, Clothilde Ewing and Katie Dyer of the CBS News Political Unit have the latest from the nation's capital.


Wednesday's Headlines

* Kerry Sees Post-Iowa Bounce in New Hampshire

* Granite State Strategies Emerge

* Dean Can't Shake Iowa

* Democrats React to State of the Union

* Will Mad Cow Matter?

Poll Watch -- The Post-Iowa Bounce is Going to Kerry: On the heels of his victory in Iowa, John Kerry seems to be moving up in New Hampshire, as well. A new poll from the Boston Globe/WBZ (conducted Jan. 19 through Jan. 20; margin of error 5 percent) shows Kerry leading Dean 27 to 24, the first time in months Kerry has led in that poll. The poll is based on two nights of interviewing, both before and after the Iowa results were known. Interviews conducted on Jan. 18 and 19 had Dean at 28, Clark at 21 and Kerry at 20.

The three newest polls from other groups are also a mixture of pre- and post-Iowa results, but the American Research Group (conducted Jan. 18 through Jan. 20; margin of error 4%), MSNBC/Reuters/Zogby (conducted Jan. 18 through Jan. 20; margin of error 4 percent) and Suffolk University (conducted Jan. 19 through Jan. 20; margin of error 4.9 percent) all show Kerry cutting Dean's lead. Pollster John Zogby said of his numbers, "In the one night of polling (Tuesday) after the Iowa caucus, Kerry actually led Dean by 2 points."

In addition to Kerry's rise and Dean's fall, Wesley Clark appears to be sliding a bit. Although he climbed into second as Kerry campaigned in Iowa, Clark has moved back down into third place in all the recent polls. As polls begin to reflect post-Iowa numbers, it remains to be seen how the race has reshaped.

  • Boston Globe/WBZ 1/19-1/20 (400 interviews, including one day of pre-Iowa results)
    Kerry 27%
    Dean 24
    Clark 17
    Edwards 9
    Undecided 16
  • MSNBC/Reuters/Zogby 1/18-1/20 (600 interviews, including two days of pre-Iowa results)
    Dean 25%
    Kerry 23
    Clark 16
    Edwards 7
    Lieberman 7
    Undecided 16
  • American Research Group 1/18-1/20 (600 interviews, including two days of pre-Iowa results)
    Dean 26%
    Kerry 24
    Clark 18
    Edwards 9
    Undecided 13
  • Suffolk University 1/19-1/20 (400 interviews, including about 25 percent pre-Iowa numbers)
    Dean 22%
    Kerry 20
    Clark 15
    Edwards 6
    Lieberman 6
    Undecided 29

    New Hampshire Strategies: With all eyes on the Granite State, the presidential campaigns are sorting out what strategies to follow in the next five days.

    John Kerry, fresh off his huge Iowa win, has been anointed (again) as the frontrunner. Kerry campaign sources tell CBS News to expect their strategy to look a lot (not surprisingly) like what worked in Iowa. The campaign says it believes the focus on interaction with voters made the difference in Monday's caucuses. Look for Kerry to be doing more one-on-one events with voters to show he's not aloof. After a couple of relatively quiet days (read: TV interviews, fundraising and prep for Thursday's WMUR debate,) starting on Friday Kerry will be campaigning "wall-to-wall." The campaign plans to put a new bio spot up in New Hampshire, as well. Kerry also plans to continue airing an ad called "Del" that features one of Kerry's former Vietnam comrades touting his leadership and courage in the war. The ad played very well in Iowa and the campaign hopes it will do as well in New Hampshire.

    Spending, which the campaign says is already high, won't be ramped up but will remain about the same. Kerry can be expected to continue spinning himself as the underdog in New Hampshire, despite new polls showing him on top.

    Dean, noticeably subdued on Tuesday compared with his somewhat manic performance in Iowa, is also pitching himself as the underdog in New Hampshire. His campaign has been running his bio ad heavily in New Hampshire that focuses on his record as governor of Vermont. A Dean campaign source tells CBS News that they hope that by Thursday's debate they can steady the polls and plan to spend heavily on ads in the must-win state for Dean.

    John Edwards played Mr. Nice Guy in Iowa – and it worked. Expect more of the same from him as he struggles to juggle his desire to be competitive in the Granite State (where he's spent over a million dollars on TV ads) while campaigning hard in South Carolina. On Wednesday, he has events in both states, and on Thursday he's in New Hampshire all day. On Friday, it's back to South Carolina again.

    Edwards has focused on the need for Democrats to nominate a southerner, which he is, and South Carolina's Feb. 3 primary will be the first time southerners vote in the 2004 race. Edwards also has been courting (again) Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the most powerful black lawmaker in the Palmetto State. While Clyburn has not indicated who (of if) he will endorse, in the wake of first pick Dick Gephardt's departure, Edwards has picked up the endorsement of several Clyburn staffers, including his chief of staff. Edwards also will try to capitalize on his newfound top-tier status on the fundraising front. On Tuesday, he went to Boston and New York to woo donors with his second-place-in-Iowa credentials. His campaign also told the New York Times that they raised $250,000 online on Tuesday alone.

    Wesley Clark, all of a sudden not the only game in town, doesn't plan any major departures from the past few weeks, during which he's moved up in the polls consistently. A Clark campaign source tells CBS News there won't be any new ads in New Hampshire, but that the campaign will continue running bio spots to "introduce" Clark. Iowa, the source says, has not changed Clark's strategy.

    "We didn't have to change gears too much in wake of Iowa because our challenge has always been to introduce Wes Clark to voters and not to specifically contrast with any other candidates," the Clark adviser said. He added that the campaign wouldn't go negative as the results appeared to be disastrous for Dick Gephardt in Iowa after he went after Dean. Expect the Clark campaign to continue focusing his role as a general and "executive" and to contrast that with his competitors who've been in Congress. Unlike Edwards, however, Clark will remain in New Hampshire until primary day, and won't split his time between there and South Carolina.

    Joe Lieberman, the other all New Hampshire candidate, is basking in his endorsement from the conservative Manchester Union Leader and continuing to stress his centrist business-oriented appeal by working Chamber of Commerce events in Salem and Windham.

    Of course, Thursday's debate probably will throw all these strategies into limbo. As one campaign source tells CBS News: "Everyone will start out positive and talking about Bush … but by the end it will be a food fight."

    Could It Be A Muskie Moment? Howard Dean's speech following his third-place showing in Iowa is still creating a buzz. Pollster Dick Bennett says it may account for the dramatic drop in Dean's rating down to 39 percent from 57 percent before the speech.

    In what most people pegged as a concession speech, Dean stripped off his suit coat, rolled up his sleeves and hysterically called out a list of states where he will compete for the Democratic nomination. Al Kamen in The Washington Post says Dean's action was "political history in the making, right there on television," and that Dean "joins the ranks of famous political meltdowns, instances in which candidates revealed something of their psyches. For example, there was former Maine Sen. Edmund S. Muskie's famous breakdown in front of the Manchester Union Leader during the 1972 primaries. (Whether he cried is still debated. That he was losing it is not)."

    Dean has tried to tone down but all did not go according to plan on Tuesday, when he was interrupted several times by protesters, reports the L.A. Times. Four hecklers — later identified as Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. supporters — disrupted the candidate in three separate incidents, screaming and shouting as the candidate spoke. At one point, two women brought out a Confederate flag just as Dean was criticizing President Bush's stance on affirmative action. Dean launched into a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Hundreds of supporters chimed in, waving American flags and the song continued until the women were escorted out of the room.

    Another bad news sign for Dean was that the late-night comedians have found him the best material for their monologues. See the Letterman "Top Ten Howard Dean Excuses."

    Democrats Challenge Bush's SOTU: Democrats, who are dreaming of giving the next State of The Union address, accused President Bush of ignoring the economic struggle of working-class Americans in Tuesday night's address and called him the architect of a flawed foreign policy, reports The New York Times.

    "After four years in office, this president still doesn't understand what's happening in living rooms across this country," said Sen. John Kerry, who is trying to build on his win Monday in the Iowa caucuses. Meanwhile, Wesley Clark, who held a town hall meeting to respond to the speech, called it "nothing but special effects" to hide policy shortcomings." Howard Dean, who has repeated his pledge not to promise the world to voters if elected, said he planned to sleep during the speech said through his campaign that the president's "empty proposals do nothing to address the real problems facing working Americans — problems his presidency has only made worse."

    Both Joe Lieberman and John Edwards accused the president of misrepresenting himself to voters. Lieberman said Mr. Bush was trying to "camouflage his irresponsible, divisive, right-wing agenda and repackage himself as a centrist compassionate conservative around election time." Edwards, who went to New York to raise some fast cash on Tuesday night, stuck his populist theme saying Mr. Bush's speech shows he "believes that compassionate language and empty slogans will make working Americans forget the burdens they face every day."

    Blame Game On Mad Cows: Mad Cow disease will serve as at least one of the issues that Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., will use in her re-election campaign against Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Wash., reports Roll Call. Since the discovery of a Mad Cow in late December, there has been talk among Washington State Democrats about Nethercutt's voting record, which includes opposition to country-of-origin labeling on beef and the halt on the use of "downed" cows. Nethercutt claims that a downed cow, one that cannot walk or stand on its own, is not necessarily diseased and that not using such animals would hurt cattlemen. Nethercutt is coincidentally one of the biggest recipients of meat processing industry contributions.

    Kristen Brost, communications director for the Washington Democratic Party, says they will hammer the issue while Nethercutt's campaign is accusing Murray of exploiting the issue and showing a lack of commitment to the state's cattlemen.

    Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., held a press conference earlier this month calling for the Bush administration to support origin-of-country labeling. Daschle and Murray have joined together on the issue during this session of Congress and both will use the issue to garner support from their states during re-election, Roll Call says.

    Quote of the Day: "I stayed with the United States Army through Vietnam." – Wesley Clark's not-so-subtle jab at John Kerry's distinguished, but not as lengthy as Clark's, military record. (Manchester Union Leader)

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