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:
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?
John Kerry Ã¯Â¿Â½ 38%
Howard Dean Ã¯Â¿Â½ 25%
Joe Lieberman Ã¯Â¿Â½ 12%
Wesley Clark Ã¯Â¿Â½ 10%
John Edwards Ã¯Â¿Â½ 9%
I question whether the numbers support the blog’s assurtion that Lieberman has climbed “firmly” into third :) … but still, good news.