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Kerry Continues to Hold Big Lead in New Hampshire Opinion Polls


The latest political surveys show that Massachusetts Senator John Kerry continues to hold a big lead over his rivals just two days before the crucial Democratic presidential primary in the state of New Hampshire.

Huge crowds greeted Senator Kerry as he began the final push toward Tuesday's primary election in New Hampshire. But the senator refused to be labeled a frontrunner as he urged his supporters to fight for every vote. "I am not here just to count down the hours until Tuesday. I am here to say we have to fight. We have to go out and find every vote we can. We have to work to earn the right to represent the Democratic Party and I am here to mark the beginning of the end of the Bush presidency. That is what this is about," he said.

Most of the polls show former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is running second, although he is closely followed by retired General Wesley Clark and North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

Governor Dean said his foreign policy will be based on renewing positive alliances with countries overseas. "The promise I have made is that if you make me president, and you have the first shot on January 27, next Tuesday, if you make me president I will restore the honor and the dignity and the respect that this country deserves by embarking on a foreign policy that is principally based on cooperation and not confrontation," he said.

Senator John Edwards continues to draw large crowds at his events in New Hampshire, and he said he can feel the momentum coming from his surprise second place finish in last week's Iowa caucuses. "What I saw happen in Iowa over time, and I believe will happen as we move across the country, including here in New Hampshire, is the closer up people see me, the more they hear what I have to say, the more they believe that I should be president," he said.

General Wesley Clark skipped the Iowa caucuses and has put most of his resources into New Hampshire.

General Clark emphasized his military experience and said he can stand up to President Bush on national security issues. "I am the only person in the race who has ever worked national security at a senior level. I worked with heads of state, with ministers of foreign affairs, with [British Prime Minister] Tony Blair, with his minister of defense. I did that on almost a routine basis. I led the [NATO] alliance in war and negotiated peace, and I am the only person in the race who has gotten that kind of experience. I have got the experience to stand against George W. Bush, defeat him and change this country," he said.

Whoever wins New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary is likely to receive a big boost for upcoming contests in South Carolina and six other states.

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