The campaign issued a memo Saturday night saying for the first time that Kerry is competing for "the top two" spots in the [New Hampshire] primary, not just for an all-out victory.Yes, Dean's current lead in SC is within the margin of error, and yes, it's unlikely that he'll actually win the SC primary. But John Kerry, for heaven's sake, is not going to be SC's preferred alternative to Dean. This hopeful interpretation of the poll results is just embarrassing.
"Howard Dean was recently at 11 percent in a South Carolina poll, with the margin of error being 5 percent -- which means he could be as low as 6 percent," [campaign spokesman Michael] Meehan said. "Meanwhile, we're at 4 percent, and with the margin of error we could be at 9 percent."
Kerry's trailing Dean by more than 30 points in New Hampshire. Dean leads by six points in Massachusetts, Kerry's home state. Those need to be his states, if he's going to have any chance of winning the nomination. There's no point in trying to pretend otherwise.