Joe Lieberman is suddenly in a battle for third place in New Hampshire, according to the latest polls. (Hat tip to my dad for alerting me to this story.)

It seems Senator Joe got a substantial boost from his fine performance in Tuesday’s debate. Looks like Ryan Lizza may have been right that “a late Lieberman surge is possible” and wrong to add, “Nah.”

What makes this really interesting is what happens when you couple it with this point by Josh Marshall:

The two candidates with the most wind at their back — Kerry and Edwards — are also the ones who have the fewest resources in place to contest the primaries which will come rapidly, week after week, after next Tuesday. …

The shorthand you hear from reporters is that Kerry has “nothing” on the ground in those states. And that can’t be quite true. But after Kerry’s town hall meeting in Manchester on Friday one of his top aides told us that he would probably not even compete in all seven of the states that vote on February 3rd. When asked which ones they’d contest, he told us they were “nowhere near figuring that out.”

Lieberman, on the other hand, has been focusing all along on the Feb. 3 primaries — South Carolina and Arizona, in particular — as his “must-win” states, and has been focusing a considerable amount of energy on them. (He’s been running a lot of TV ads here, for instance.) I don’t know how many “resources” he has, but it sounds like he may be in better shape than Kerry and Edwards in these next few states.

So let’s say the New Hampshire order of finish is:
1. Kerry
2. Dean
3. Lieberman
4. Edwards
5. Clark

Suddenly Clark — who, like Dean, has the resources to compete nationally — would look like a big loser, with no momentum. Kerry and, to a lesser extent, Edwards, would still be the front-running golden boys, but all politics is local, and they haven’t made the investment in the upcoming localities. (Well, except Edwards in South Carolina… but a second-place finish there would be a “victory” for anybody else…)

That leaves Dean (who, as I mentioned yesterday, might well be labeled a “comeback kid” if he can finish a strong second) and the suddenly resurgent Lieberman. Is it possible that Joe could emerge as Feb. 2’s “anti-Dean” after all?

Far vos nisht?

UPDATE: The Command Post has more details on the tightening New Hampshire race. And Lieberman is continuing to improve.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Meanwhile, over on the official Lieberman blog, they’re reporting that a Gallup poll (as opposed to the Zogby polls linked above) shows Senator Joe already in third place:

John Kerry � 38%
Howard Dean � 25%
Joe Lieberman � 12%
Wesley Clark � 10%
John Edwards � 9%

I question whether the numbers support the blog’s assurtion that Lieberman has climbed “firmly” into third :) … but still, good news.

One Response to “Joe-mentum”

  1. Joe Loy says:

    “Is it possible that Joe could emerge as Feb. 2’s ‘anti-Dean’ after all?

    Far vos nisht?”

    hee hee (dear goyischephone readers: Brendan said “Why not?” He has a campaign button with a picture of Saint Joe’s mug and that persuasive Yiddish argument. :) Brendan, Ver vaist? (Who knows?)

    Yes, it IS possible. IF he can hang on and emerge 3rd in NH, then I say that as the Show moves South he must find gentlemanly ways to gently nudge along the Downward momentum of a declining Wesley Clark — daintily scavenging up the Votes as they bail from the General’s sputtering Humvee. Clark’s target constituency having the biggest politico-cultural overlap with Lieberman’s, IMO.

    IF that works, and IF Joe can thus maybe WIN a few next month — and IF Wesley then in due course declares Victory & goes Home, freeing up more Liebermanfriendlies — *and* IF Dean declines further when he hits Dixie & Environs BUT IF he nevertheless hangs in for the delegate bloc & the Platform fight & the Kingmaking, thus continuing to deny Kerry and/or Edwards some otherwise-potential support — WELL then it’s the sky’s the limit & Yentil Bar the Door!!

    Now let me just review those “and IF’s & But” …Hmmm…

    Az di bobe volt gehat beytsim volt zi geven mayn zeyde! (IF my grandmother had testicles she would be my grandfather. :)

    Go Joe! We’re Number THREE! Or Soon We Will BE!

    I think Joe needs to somehow evolve into the chief anti-Kerry. (Oh yeah, a call for one will arise if this circus keeps on playing long enough. You just watch. “The Curse of Dukakis”, etc.) This on the assumption that Dean is Done as a real Contenduh, failing to get Spun as the NH Comeback Doc & thus no longer needing an antiparticle to collide & annihilate with. (Actually he does that pretty well all by himself. :)

    Here’s today’s Manchester (NH) Union Leader editorial reiterating & defending their endorsement of the distinguished junior Senator from Connecticut. (Our Senior one is of course the distinguished Christopher IWannabeTeddy. Yes, Dodd is our Co-pilot. :)

    And here’s something interesting, at least I think so: the AOL state-by-state ongoing online poll. Now, sure it’s unscientific, eligibility-uncontrolled, voting-likelihood-unvetted, self-selected unrepresentative sample (some 200,000 voters so far), etc. & so on & so forth. BUT — go look at the colorcoded map; & then click on some States. / Then click on some more. OK, now some more. / To me, notwithstanding all the aforementioned invalidities — the results make considerable demographic sense!

    (Be sure to click on Utah and Wyoming. They’re Good Democrats out there. Hi Sean. / Uh, but like, don’t bother to click on Connecticut. There’s a computer glitch there, I’m sure. Grrr. :)

    Finally, here’s a good Union Leader account of the New Hampshire Memory Lane still dear to my then-broken heart: Gone to join the shadows with the pomps of that time / And the flame of that summer’s prairie rose. (Apologies as always to V. Lindsay. That Henry Cabot Lodge was such an annoying aristocrat. Sitting over there in Saigon like he didn’t know what was Up, pretending to be Above all such grubby goings-on, Eastern Establishment Brahmin snob…nyaah nevermind, don’t get me Going. :)

    Look, in the event that the Party in the end declines to be matchmade with its fair & winsome Joe, his has still been a comely & dignified flirtation. A khasuren die meydl is tsu shayn – A fault that the girl is just too beautiful. ;]