MANCHESTER, N.H. — Democratic presidential candidates Joe Lieberman and Wesley K. Clark have decided not to campaign in the initial caucus state of Iowa, gambling on winning the nomination with a later surge in the primary race.
Lieberman and Clark have decided not to spend their money in a state they probably have no chance of winning. Their decisions allow them to shift money to New Hampshire and other states with later contests.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt are at the top of the polls in Iowa, with Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry also jostling for a top showing in the Jan. 19 caucuses.
Clark spokesman Matt Bennett said the retired Army general's month-old campaign cannot compete with Dean's highly organized Iowa field operation or Gephardt's 15-year history of building relationships there.
Lieberman will open four new offices in New Hampshire that will be staffed by redeployed Iowa field operatives, aides said.
"Unlike years past, this time around there are nine early primary states, not just two," Lieberman campaign manager Craig Smith said in a statement. "We decided to focus our resources on where they will prove most effective. Without a doubt, we feel this is the winning strategy for Joe Lieberman."