Everyone and everything of

January 19, 2004 11:38 a.m.

Everyone and everything, of course, is on hold until we get the results tonight out of Iowa. But one sense I get about this race right now is that no one understands just why John Kerry is surging so fast in the polls. I don’t think the other campaigns understand it. And I half suspect, though I haven’t spoken to them yet, that even the Kerry folks themselves don’t.

I don’t mean this in the sense that it defies comprehension that voters could be rallying to Kerry. I’ve always been a fan of his. But why now? What’s changed? Especially when many of the voters Kerry is picking up now must be ones he once had only to have them abandon him. For the other campaigns, you really need to know why people are turning to Kerry to figure out how to stop them from doing so.

The ARG poll today is unchanged, but the analysis says …

While the 3-day results are unchanged and the daily trends show ballot preference for Howard Dean holding steady, John Kerry continues to gain at Wesley Clark’s expense. Win or lose in Iowa, the attention Kerry is receiving from Iowa should be enough to push him in front of Clark for second place.

That sounds right to me. At least for the couple days out of the gate in New Hampshire. But as the last week or two have shown, all but the last week or two of a campaign in a small state like Iowa or New Hampshire can be prologue.

Kerry versus Clark could be the most intense battle in New Hampshire. Because they, I suspect, are in many ways fighting over the same few slices of the pie.

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