DEAN GAINING GROUND?
LATEST NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS CONFLICT. Howard Dean is coming back strong in New Hampshire … or John Kerry is heading to huge win in the state. Which is correct? That depends on which polls you trust. The latest polls out of New Hampshire are offering sharply different forecasts for the likely vote there Tuesday. The new MSNBC/Zogby poll shows that Howard Dean has bounced back in the state over the past three days, and now trails John Kerry by only three points. The MSNBC/Zogby numbers: Kerry-28%, Dean-25%, Clark-11%, Edwards-10%, Lieberman-9%. Factoring in the 4-point margin of error, the Kerry-Dean race is a now statistical tie. Contrast the close race numbers with the numbers out Monday from the WHDH-TV/Suffolk University poll: Kerry-38%, Dean-17%, Clark-10%, Edwards-9%, Lieberman-5%. This polls shows Kerry slightly up, and Dean slightly down — the opposite of the MSNBC poll. Also see the numbers from the new Boston Globe poll: Kerry-37%, Dean-17%, Edwards-12%, Clark-11%, and Lieberman-7%. Sunday’s WMUR-TV/UNH poll showed similar numbers: Kerry-37%, Dean-22%, Edwards-12%, Clark-11%, Lieberman-10%, and Kucinich-2%. The forecast for several inches of snow on election day is expected to also skew the outcome, as it traditionally supresses the turnnout of some demographic groups — particularly seniors — more than others.
My instincts conflict here, in that I simultaneously think Kerry is going to win New Hampshire going away and yet have learned to disregard the Zogby poll at my peril. Interesting.