Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. John Kerry Wins Wisconsin Primary
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, with Sen. John Edwards' (D-N.C.) second-place finish turning the nomination race "into a two-person contest," the New York Times reports (Nagourney, New York Times, 2/18). With 90.9% of precincts reporting, Kerry won 39.4% of the vote, Edwards garnered 34.9%, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) had 18.1%, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) received 3.3% and the Rev. Al Sharpton (D) had 1.6% (AP/Washington Post graphic, 2/18). While the primary marked Kerry's 15th victory, to date Edwards has won only in South Carolina. However, "Edwards's strong second-place finish here positioned the freshman senator to continue the battle," according to the Washington Post (Broder, Washington Post, 2/18). Meanwhile, Dean's "dismal" showing could "effectively end his campaign," according to the Times (New York Times, 2/18). Dean lagged behind Kerry and Edwards even among voters who said that health care and the war in Iraq -- the candidate's key issues -- were most important to them (Washington Post, 2/18). Before the polls closed, Dean said he would continue his campaign regardless of the primary's outcome, and he has returned to his home in Vermont to determine his next campaign move (New York Times, 2/18).
Health care and Medicare, selected by 18% of Wisconsin voters as the most important issues, ranked second among issues affecting votes, behind jobs and the economy, which 42% said were most important, according to a survey of 2,238 voters conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool, the New York Times reports. When divided by candidate, 20% of Kerry supporters said health care was the most important issue, compared with 16% of Edwards supporters and 22% of Dean supporters (New York Times graphic, 2/18). Results were subject to a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points (Williams, AP/Wichita Eagle, 2/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.