The Note

-- can a huge turnout of veterans -- and sons and daughters of millworkers -- turn Ohio from red to blue?

-- Chris Heinz's potential primary challenge to Senator Clinton

Now: here are some questions that we think SHOULD be answered:

How do Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and other members of the unalligned congressional and party Establishment feel about a Kerry nomination?

And if he wins New Hampshire, how soon will the ranks close?

And has anyone considered lately whether Kerry as nominee could adopt Howard Dean's "$100 from 2 million people" challenge, and/or use that catsup money in the general election?

Also: Will John Kerry have a bad news cycle between now and next Tuesday?

If he does, it appears it won't be because he is forced into it by his opponents (who are variously playing, it seems, for second and/or survival), or by the press (who are, it also seems, unlikely to drop any investigative bombs that detonate before the primary).

And it won't be because of bad staff work -- don't underestimate the number of "adults" who are surrounding John Kerry now, and the extent to which their vast campaign experience is likely to shield him from scheduling snafus or political landmines.

After a "relentlessly civil" debate; another day of NO new newsmaking television ads; and another day of apparent Kerry upward movement (with no one else seeming to make substantial gains) -- after all that, we are looking at another day today of "routine" campaign events throughout New Hampshire.

It is of course too soon to say if Howard Dean's remade strategy and Primetime and Letterman appearances will do anything to put his numbers back on track.

It will be interesting to Note how our colleagues on cable will handle the first New Hampshire poll (regardless of the source) which shows Clark or Edwards surpassing Dean for the number two slot in the Granite State race -- if such a thing happens.

It ISN'T too soon to say that deanforamerica won't get any solid tracking poll data to gauge the effects until the weekend, at which point they will be flying blind (with the rest of us) about whither Howard Dean's image in the Granite State.

It also isn't too soon to say that the expectations for the Feb. 3 states and the candidates on the road out of New Hampshire will be largely derivative of:

A. whether Kerry wins New Hampshire and by how much, and

B. IF Kerry numerically wins New Hampshire, how many other candidates are seen by the Gang of 500/19-person subgroup to have gotten a "win" there as well.

At this point -- given how absolutely unsettled the Feb. 3 and money situations are -- any of the four other leading candidates still have the potential to leave Manchester in the hunt.

Starting now, we'll be looking for the final changes in advertising strategy; the beginning of "robo" calls that might be carrying a negative message; and the beginning hints of on which states the candidates will focus their resources after New Hampshire.

If you are looking for the fun parlor game of the day and want to keep very busy perhaps you might consider counting how many times the word "Halliburton" is invoked by the candidates out on the Democratic campaign trail today.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Halliburton Co. has told the Pentagon that two employees took kickbacks valued at up to $6 million in return for awarding a Kuwaiti-based company with lucrative work supplying U.S. troops in Iraq."

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