KERRY FAVORED TO WIN BIG IN MICHIGAN
by Joe Shea
American Reporter Correspondent
BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 7, 2004 -- U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry appears likely to win the Michigan caucuses today and could emerge the victor in Washington State, where former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean was far ahead in polls until recently. [Late returns Saturday night showed Kerry won both states by large margins.] For both men, primaries in Virginia and Tennessee that could inalterably define the race lie just ahead on Tuesday.
Dean has won no primaries since the beginning of the 2004 presidential camapign, has said he will quit the race if he fails to achieve victories in the Feb. 17 Wisconsin primary. That has not set well with many supporters, who nonetheless have continued pouring $200,000 a day into his campaign via the Internet.
Meanwhile, further primary victories Kerry may achieve have acquired a growing sense of irrelevance as other contenders fall further and further behind the 60-year-old Massachusetts senator in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. That could lead to an early consolidation of a consensus for Kerry that will allow him to continue focusing his campaign on Pres. George W. Bush and gain support from other campaign activists.
Kerry has spent little time and money in Washington, where liberal Seattle voters frequently vote differently than more conservative rural Washingtonians. Dean's core of activists and young voters promise that the contest there will be closer than in Michigan. Edwards has not campaigned in Washington, but Kerry came to the state to make a victory speech on the night of his sweeping Super Tuesday victories in Missouri, Arizona, Delaware, New Mexico, and North Dakota.
An Epic MRA survey of 400 likely voters in Michigan showed Kerry out in front 62 to 13 over Dean and 62 to 11 over U.S. Sen. John Edwards of N. Carolina, the winner of the South Carolina primary contest in the Feb. 2 Super Tuesday balloting.
Polls close at 4 p,.m. in Michigan. The caucuses in Washington State begin at 10 a.m. and are expected to end by 12.00 p.m.