(Host) The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says it doesn’t plan to make major changes in its basic strategy. But leading up to next week’s primary election in New Hampshire, Dean may refrain from airing negative TV ads. VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) Dean has a lot on the line in New Hampshire following his third place finish earlier this week in the Iowa caucuses.
Many political observers believe a third place finish in New Hampshire would deal a serious blow to Dean’s chances to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
In Iowa, Congressman Richard Gephardt aired a lot of TV commercials attacking Dean on Medicare and Social Security. Dean responded by running spots that highlighted a picture of Gephardt attending president Bush’s signing of the Iraq War Resolution.
It’s believed that this series of negative TV ads hurt both candidates in Iowa.
Dean’s New Hampshire communications director, Dori Clark, says the basic message now is much more positive and stresses Dean’s record in his 11 years as governor.
(Clark) “We want to make sure that voters hear about his record because we think that they’ll find it to be exactly what we’re looking for for the White House. So we are going to be trying very hard to get out a positive message and ensure that people know who Howard Dean is and ultimately support him on the 27th.”
(Kinzel) Clark says a key part of the Dean strategy has been the development of a massive voter identification project to help target likely Dean supporters next Tuesday – in New Hampshire, voters who are registered as Independents are allowed to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.
(Clark) “We’re working very hard on reaching out to Independent voters and especially of course folks who are still undecided. That’s still a large percentage at this point, and we know who they are because we’ve been trying to be in contact with as many voters as possible and find out about their preference.”
(Kinzel) Clark says several thousand people will be involved in a get out the vote project next Tuesday and she’s convinced this effort will make a big difference when the results come in.
For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.