Dean Surging in NH

Polling firm Zogby International is reporting that Howard Dean is dominating the Democratic field in New Hampshire, with a startling 21-point lead over the nearest challenger, Sen. John Kerry.

Here’s the tale of the tape for the period from August 23-26:

  • Gov. Howard Dean: 38%
  • Sen. John Kerry: 17%
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman: 6%
  • Richard Gephardt: 6%
  • Sen. John Edwards: 4%
  • Gen. Wesley Clark (undeclared): 2%

… with several other candidates (Sen. Bob Graham, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun) pulling 1% or less, and 23% undecided.

It’s early in the season, of course, so those numbers are likely to tighten up, but that’s a dramatic lead for Dean any way you slice it. What’s also interesting is the appearance of Wesley Clark on the list — he’s been playing Hamlet over whether or not to jump into this race for months. If he did announce, that could put him up in the Lieberman-Gephardt-Edwards category at minimum.

These numbers make me wonder if anyone other than Dean, Kerry, Lieberman, and Clark (assuming he jumps in) will stay in the race after the votes are counted in New Hampshire. If they want to, they’ve clearly got a lot of work to do between now and then.