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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

* Poll Watch: One Step Forward, One Look Back

* Dialing for Dollars

* South Carolina's Jim Clyburn to Endorse John Kerry

* Kerry hoping to ride momentum through February 3

* Towards What, Mr. Tauzin?

Poll Watch: So Few Today: With the New Hampshire primary over, there is only one public poll pointing the way towards Feb. 3. In Missouri, up for grabs since Dick Gephardt ended his presidential bid, a Kansas City Star/KMBC poll (conducted Jan. 20-25; margin of error 6 percent) shows that the largest bloc of voters in the Show Me state is undecided. The only candidate with any significant support – actually the only candidate out of single digits – is John Kerry with 25 percent. Although the poll was conducted before the New Hampshire primary, Kerry probably "benefited in the poll from the good publicity of a come-from-behind finish at the top" in Iowa. All the other candidates were below 10 percent, with John Edwards at 9, Dean at 6 and Clark at 3.

Kansas City Star/KMBC 1/20-25 (600 interviews)
Undecided 35
Kerry 25
Edwards 9
Dean 6
Clark 3

And just for fun, a look back at the New Hampshire polls. Since the New Hampshire results are in, it is now possible to say conclusively that the polling was a mixed bag. Most (although not all) of the pollsters got the order correct – Kerry 1st, Dean 2nd and Clark/Edwards 3rd - but the margins were much messier. Kerry won the state 39 percent to Dean's 26, with Clark/Edwards still battling at about 12 percent each. Some pollsters got the 1st–2nd spread correct but underestimated Clark by varying amounts; three points, for example, in the last Zogby poll. ARG overestimated Edwards by 3 points and Suffolk University guessed low on both Clark and Edwards. Marist College gave Kerry 36, Dean 25, Edwards 12 and Clark 11 – very close to the actual numbers – but underestimated the Kerry/Dean division by a few points. Looking ahead to Feb. 3 and its independent-free primaries, perhaps the polls will improve in accuracy.

Dialing for Dollars: Although all the candidates put the best face possible on last night's outcome, it remains to be seen whose pitch the money-givers decide was best. As the Boston Globe reports, all the campaigns are strapped for cash, a problem compounded by the relative expense of competing in the Feb. 3 states. As the Globe writes, "The price tag is about $1.5 million for a modest amount of television advertising in all of them over the course of the week." Given that "none of the campaigns is flush with cash," the Democratic contenders have been forced into a new round of dialing for dollars.

The Kerry campaign is perhaps in the best position to make these calls. As the New York Times reports, Kerry's dual wins in Iowa and New Hampshire have opened up the coffers. Louis B. Susman, the campaign's chief fund-raiser, said, "Since Iowa, the momentum of fund-raising for John Kerry and the results of that momentum have been tremendous." He continues, "Fund-raisers who were on the fence are now getting off the fence and into the Kerry camp."

In non-Iowa winning camps, however, there is significantly more concern about campaign coffers. Howard Dean's campaign insists that he is in a strong position and Stephanie Schriock, the Dean finance director, told the Times that they have raised $1.5 million on the Internet and through the mail since Iowa. But the campaign spent extremely heavily in Iowa and New Hampshire, including $1.1 million in N.H. television advertising in the week before the primary alone. The candidate himself acknowledged that his campaign now faces a long, expensive fight, telling the Times, "We tried for a quick knockout and it didn't work… So now we've just got a long drawn-out process."

For others coming out of New Hampshire, the need for dollars is even more acute. John Edwards' campaign is heading to home territory in the South, but a campaign spokesman will only tell the Globe, "We have enough money to compete through Feb. 3 and beyond."

Wesley Clark's campaign has a "substantial treasury" but "the political newcomer slumped in the final week in New Hampshire" and may have problems capitalizing, writes the Washington Post.

As for Joe Lieberman, who finished fifth in New Hampshire, the Post notes, "several questioned how long Lieberman can afford to stay in the race." As speculation continues over how much money the candidates have left to compete, answers won't be available until Feb. 1, when the next filings are due to the FEC.

Clyburn Joins Team Kerry: While it won't be the only show in town on Feb. 3 anymore, South Carolina remains, along with Missouri, one of the crown jewels of next Tuesday's voting. The race there is being viewed by many as a chance for John Edwards and Wesley Clark to salvage their candidacies with a win, or as a way for John Kerry to establish himself as a national candidate. In addition, South Carolina is the first state with a large black population and much attention will be paid to the results among that key Democratic voting bloc.

CBS News Kerry Campaign Reporter Steve Chaggaris reports that Rep. Jim Clyburn, the state's most influential black politician, who could have tremendous sway in a state where blacks could make up more than 40 percent of Tuesday's electorate, will announce his support for Kerry on Thursday morning in Columbia. Clyburn, who had backed Dick Gephardt until he dropped out, joins perhaps the state's most influential white politician, Sen. Fritz Hollings, on the Kerry team.

There will be a debate Thursday night in Greenville. And on Friday there will be a forum on African-American issues in Columbia.

The prospects of a Kerry win are probably the most surprising. The State reports: "Kerry can eliminate his last serious opponent by coming to South Carolina and beating John Edwards on his own turf next week." And one senior Palmetto State Democrat tells CBS News that Kerry "has a real shot down here."

The State describes Edwards as "Kerry's final stumbling block to the nomination. Despite a soft third- or fourth-place finish in New Hampshire, Edwards is a South Carolina native and has made the Palmetto State his fire wall — win here at all costs."

Clark, meanwhile, does not appear to be focusing on South Carolina as much as he had been before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. Spokesman Bill Buck, conceding that Edwards holds a "native son" advantage, told The State: "We're still playing here but … I wouldn't exactly call it neutral ground."

Riding the Momentum: Fresh off his win in New Hampshire, John Kerry isn't wasting any time as he tries to ride the wave of momentum into the next round of contests on Feb. 3. The campaign is scheduled to start airing TV ads in all seven Feb. 3 states on Wednesday, and Ted Kennedy, who is widely credited with helping Kerry's surge in Iowa, is hitting the road on Thursday to campaign on Kerry's behalf.

Steve Elmendorf, formerly of the Gephardt campaign and the newly installed deputy campaign manager for Kerry, called Kerry's Congressional whip team into action on Tuesday to make phone calls to prominent Democrats in states holding Feb. 3 contests, reports Roll Call.

And on Wednesday, Team Kerry is organizing a gathering to which all undecided House members have been invited. Kennedy will attend the meeting and Kerry is expected to call in from the road.

There are still a number of big fish remaining in the endorsement pool as voters head to the polls in Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Carolina next Tuesday. Namely, Dick Gephardt, whose home state of Missouri has 74 delegates up for grabs, the largest number of the day, but who isn't expected to endorse anyone before the primary.

Tauzin's Future: Roll Call reports that while no official announcement has been made, Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., will most likely leave his congressional seat for a lobbying position. His decision to leave Congress has set off a scramble to replace him.

No candidate has started an exploratory committee, but American Sugar Cane Association president Charlie Melancon, a Democrat, has interviewed consultants and talked about starting a committee. Melancon is not alone among Democrats seeking the seat. State Rep. Gary Smith, attorney Jane Triche, and St. John Parish president Nick Monica are all considering a run. Downer said he would make no moves toward an exploratory committee until Tauzin announced his resignation.

On the Republican side, Tauzin himself has thrown his support to state Rep. Hunt Downer as his replacement, "whether that be in three months or three years," said a Tauzin spokesman. This ruled out the possibility that Tauzin's son, Billy III, was in line to run for his dad's seat.

The timing of any election to replace Tauzin is up in the air. Tauzin will not resign before the March 9 presidential primary because Republicans fear that higher Democratic turnout for the primary would put two Democrats in a run-off in the general election. In Louisiana, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary participate in general election run-off regardless of party affiliation. When Tauzin makes an announcement, look for more candidates to come out of the woodwork.

Quote of the Day: "I'm wearing my new Joe Lieberman watch. Problem is, it stops running after New Hampshire." --Jay Leno ("The Tonight Show")

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