As it turned out, a few late endorsements of Edwards by local newspapers and almost constant attacks by Dean and Edwards on the frontrunner chipped away at Kerry’s lead. “In the end, Edwards has a non-win victory because he came so close and Kerry has trouble. That’s the spin,” says the Kerry volunteer.
Kerry held a late-night meeting and conference call demanding to know why Wisconsin happened, according to another Kerry campaign source in Washington. “He wanted to know what happened to his victory. That’s what it was called, ‘his victory.’ Like somehow he was entitled to it. Sometimes he forgets he’s running against other people.”
Almost immediately, talking points were developed for Kerry underlings and reporters were spun that (1) Edwards had won only one primary (South Carolina); (2) Kerry had won 15 of the 16 other contests, including Wisconsin; and (3) Kerry had a lock on the big prizes of Super Tuesday.
One byproduct of the Edwards close call in dairy country is that Kerry will be spending a lot more of his cheese to knock his senatorial colleague back. The Kerry campaign, which for the past two weeks had basically been ignoring Edwards and Dean and focusing on attacking the president, is now looking to spend millions in Ohio and New York and even California to keep a lid on any Edwards insurgency.
While Kerry has a large double-digit lead on Edwards in California, the Kerry folk believe Edwards has a shot to make inroads in Ohio, New York, and Georgia on Super Tuesday.