As the Badger state tallied final votes in its Democratic primary, a surprisingly close race evolved with Sen. John Kerry eventually winning 40% of
the vote followed closely by a surprising 34% for John Edwards. Howard Dean's poor third place showing at around 18% indicates for some a new two man
battle to emerge.
Kerry, who just last week maintained a 30 point lead on contenders Dean and Edwards in Wisconsin, is scrambling to spin the Edwards surge to within
Known as the "not just yet John Kerry" trend, the shift is apparently national as support polls today showed Kerry slipped, Edwards gained and Dean
barely hung on.
For the first time since winning in Iowa, Kerry has seen his national poll numbers slip from 51% among Democrats just three days ago to 43% today.
Edwards is a distant second but gaining, now attracting support from 25% of the nation's Democrats up from 18% three days ago. Dean remains stalled
Strategists are explaining the Wisconsin vote and national trend as being the newly confident Democrats looking at lagging Bush support and now
thinking Kerry's strength of "electability" to be in the bag. Feeling some breathing room, they are then surging for Edwards on issues like trade.
The North Carolina Senator brags being the only candidate against the job letting agreement NAFTA, and promises a fight for "fair" trade against
"free" trade Bush.
Assisting Edwards in Wisconsin were endorsements from major papers in Milwaukee and Madison. Some also say the open voter policy of Wisconsin allowing
both Independents and Republicans to vote helped the conservative Democrat as well, not to mention the recent allegations surrounding Kerry.
But all in all, Kerry remains far and away the front-runner du jour following his Wisconsin victory. With approximately 75 percent of delegates still
to be awarded in national contests, Super Tuesday comes in just two weeks.
Dean assured supporters after the race "we are not done" but will surely face increased pressure to bow out now. A "major event" is scheduled for
Dean Wednesday. At issue on a possible Dean withdrawl, will he continue to lean his support in Edwards direction?
Related ATSNN News Stories:
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Kerry Wins DC and Nevada
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion
Kerry Too Ugly to Win
[Edited on 18-2-2004 by RANT]