The bus is racing against a snow storm. The candidate is running for the finish line with two big loses on his scorecard. The Dean campaign claims the New Hampshire Primary is a comeback and given where the Governor started after Iowa, any ground gained is a plus. "This second place is a good result considering how much we were weighed down after Iowa," said New Hampshire Communications Director Dorie Clark.
Following the Governor's speech, the song"I Won't Back Down" piped through the gymnasium as volunteers pulled Dean signs off the walls. Sitting at the edge of stage--Joe Trippi, Steve McMahon and Paul Maslin. When asked what happened in New Hampshire, Trippi said, "I'm not talking to you." His response to why was "Because the media is a pain in the ass."
The Dean team meets in Burlington tomorrow to come up with new strategies. According to the campaign, this is now a two man race. Staffers say his message will essentially stay the same except that there will be more emphasis on his executive experience and on Kerry as a Washington insider. "The difference between Howard Dean and John Kerry is results versus rhetoric," said McMahon.
McMahon categorizes the future ad strategy as being about the "next 7 weeks, not just about the next 7 days." Ads in New Hampshire are obviously down and no other ads are expected to go up until Friday.
Thursday the Governor touches down on delegate rich Michigan before going to Greenville, South Carolina. In fact, the Governor's most recent schedule takes him to both February 3rd and February 7th states. He is lagging in South Carolina, New Mexico and Arizona polls and it appears as if the campaign is focusing on Michigan and Washington states. As for the Dean New Hampshire staff, they will begin the postmortem tomorrow as well as discover what their next assignments will be. Most have all put in their relocation requests. Arizona and New Mexico seem to be the top choices. "I need to thaw out and I really need a tan," said one New Hampshire worker.
Dean camp watches voting climate
MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 27 — Today's weather report for New Hampshire's Primary Day: Cloudy with Northeast winds. High of 22 degrees Fahrenheit and low of 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow expected in the evening, which could affect voter turnout as well as demographics. Some campaign watchers say snow may keep older voters away from the polls.
As for the Dean campaign weather report, today's high a lead in favor of the Kerry campaign at 17 according to the Globe and a Zogby low of 3 is causing a mixture of nervousness and hope. The Governor himself is described as "calm, focused and ready for whatever happens." He is said to feel "confident" that the campaign adopted the right strategy following Iowa. The question to be answered by voters is whether there has been enough time since Iowa to build up the needed momentum.
On Primary Day eve, Dean top brass called pollsters trying to get a grasp of the voting climate. Frustrated with attempting to make sense out of the figures, a senior aide sighs, "Who the hell knows?" Polls worry the campaign and advisers admit the one especially troublesome polling detail is the Gallup question on who is best poised to beat George Bush. The poll shows Senator Kerry as the favorite. Yesterday Dean volunteer Mary Vogel from Washington, D.C., explained, "It's obvious that Bush is running a national security campaign and Kerry does have good foreign policy service."