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Inside Politics

Poll: Iowa bounce fuels Kerry's ascent

Dean tells CNN he has no desire to replace Greenspan

John Kerry and former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia make a campaign stop Friday in Manchester, New Hampshire.
John Kerry and former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia make a campaign stop Friday in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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Tuesday, January 27: New Hampshire primary

Tuesday, February 3: Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina primaries; New Mexico Democratic caucus; Virginia Republican caucus

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MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) -- With Democratic hopefuls campaigning in the final weekend before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, a tracking poll released Friday shows Sen. John Kerry pulling away from former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in the Granite State.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll of likely primary voters found 34 percent of the respondents preferred Kerry, with Dean following at 22 percent. Next came retired Gen. Wesley Clark at 17 percent and Sen. John Edwards at 12 percent.

The tracking poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday after Kerry's come-from-behind win in the Iowa caucuses. Dean previously led Kerry 32 percent to 17 percent in New Hampshire in a tracking poll done Saturday through Monday.

The Massachusetts senator has been ahead in other polls. (Polls: Kerry leads rivals in New Hampshire)

Since Monday night's caucuses, Kerry and Edwards have been on a steady climb, while Dean and Clark dropped at nearly the same steady pace. Edwards, who finished second in Iowa, had 7 percent of respondents' support in the New Hampshire tracking poll before the caucuses.

In a final debate Thursday night in Manchester, the seven remaining Democrats turned critical eyes away from each other and toward President Bush. (Full story,'s interactive Election Calendar)

Kerry worked to maintain his new front-runner status, while Dean used the debate to present a more even-tempered approach -- battling a fiery post-caucus performance that media outlets aired repeatedly and pundits predicted would hurt him.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale is expected to endorse Kerry for the Democratic presidential nomination later Friday, a Kerry campaign source told CNN.

Dean said he deserved some of the ribbing over the speech but stuck with the game plan that has brought him considerable grass-roots support, a position he reiterated in an interview on ABC's "Primetime Thursday." (Full story)

"We have to say what we believe," Dean said at the debate, "whether it's popular or not."

The Rev. Al Sharpton told Dean not to worry about his enthusiastic holler after the Iowa caucuses.

"Don't be hard on yourself about hooting and hollering. If I had spent the money you did and got 18 percent, I'd still be in Iowa hooting and hollering," Sharpton said.

Emphasis on Bush, the issues

Remarking on the debate, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe told CNN's "American Morning," "I don't think you saw much fireworks coming out of the candidates last night. Remember this is about beating George Bush."

Also on "American Morning," Sen. Joe Lieberman said he thought he gave his "best performance ... in any of the debates.

"I made clear who I am," he said. " ... I am the toughest Democrat that the Republicans could run against because I am socially progressive.

"They will never be able to run their typical anti-Democratic campaign against me for being weak on defense or silent on values ... or big tax spenders because I'm none of those things."

Lieberman said a popular uprising likely would give him a higher-than-expected finish -- in the same way Kerry and Edwards rode later surges into the first and second spots in Iowa.

But surveys show Lieberman trailing Kerry, Edwards, Dean and Clark. Lieberman had 8 percent of respondents' support in the latest tracking poll.

McAuliffe said the Iowa caucuses and Thursday's debate reflected the voters' push for the candidates to focus on the issues.

"In the Democratic Party right now, we are going to beat George Bush," McAuliffe said. "The president has not led this country.

"People are hurting, 3 million people lost their jobs, 43 million Americans have no health insurance."

In Tuesday's State of the Union address, McAuliffe said, "the president didn't talk about manufacturing jobs. All he talked about was making the tax cuts permanent, high school abstinence, steroids for athletes and training prisoners for jobs. People were worried about their jobs. That is what Democrats focusing on."

The candidates have a variety of appearances scheduled Friday in New Hampshire, although Edwards heads for South Carolina, where 45 convention delegates -- and a lot of Southern attention -- are up for grabs a week after the New Hampshire primary. (The Morning Grind: Campaign Daybook)

Primaries also will be held February 3 in Arizona, Oklahoma, Delaware and Missouri, along with caucuses in New Mexico and North Dakota. Those states together represent 224 delegates at stake.

To win the Democratic nomination at July's national convention in Boston, a candidate must secure 2,162 out of 4,322 delegates.

Dean on Greenspan

Howard Dean talks with supporters in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Friday.
Howard Dean talks with supporters in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Friday.

In an interview with CNN for Friday's "Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics," Dean said he has a feeling that his situation will improve in New Hampshire before Tuesday's first-in-the-nation primary. But no matter what happens in the primary, Dean said, he will take his campaign to South Carolina and other states that hold primaries on February 3.

In an interview at a Nashua restaurant, Dean also said he has no desire to get rid of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

In an earlier campaign stop Friday, he said Greenspan's recent decisions were "troubling" and that failing to oppose President Bush's tax cuts was "foolish enough" to warrant his replacement.

Dean also told Woodruff that his Democratic rivals who supported a resolution authorizing the war in Iraq must bear responsibility for what has happened there, along with President Bush.

Other developments

• Kerry picked up the support of Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings of South Carolina, a move that could help the candidate in that state's contest.

Joe Lieberman and wife Hadassah make a campaign stop Friday in Concord, New Hampshire.
Joe Lieberman and wife Hadassah make a campaign stop Friday in Concord, New Hampshire.

• Focusing on a subject sure to be prominent in his re-election campaign, Bush said Thursday his administration is notching successes in the war against terrorism but will not let up while danger lingers. "We're making progress, but you need to know we're on the offensive," Bush told some 1,600 emergency workers, law enforcement officials and cadets from the New Mexico Military Institute -- what the president called the "West Point of the West." (Full story)

• With campaign 2004 in full swing, first lady Laura Bush is ready to apply "a grain of salt" to persistent Democratic criticism of her husband. "I know this is our last campaign whatever happens, and I think there will be a sense of nostalgia with that," she said in an interview Thursday on CBS' "The Early Show." (Full story)

• A federally funded Internet-based voting system due for release in less than two weeks is inherently flawed and should be scuttled because of weak security, according to a report by a team of computer scientists. The system, called the Secure Electronic Registration and Voter Experiment, or SERVE, is designed to allow U.S. military personnel and civilians living overseas to log onto a computer terminal and cast an absentee ballot. (Full story)

CNN's Carol Cratty, Candy Crowley, Bob Franken, Phil Hirschkorn, Jeff Greenfield, Adam Levine, John Mercurio, Bill Schneider, Deirdre Walsh and Judy Woodruff contributed to this report.

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