PLYMOUTH, N.H. – With only one day left before the New Hampshire primary, Sen. John Kerry (search) continues to lead in all the polls.
But Howard Dean (search) may have reversed his free fall and is now gaining on the front-runner from Massachusetts. A huge number of undecided Granite State voters, however, could change everything come Tuesday.
A Fox News/University of New Hampshire Survey Center (search) tracking poll released Monday shows that 36 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Kerry, and 25 percent are backing Dean. Thirteen percent favor North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (search), 11 percent favor retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark (search), 7 percent favor Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (search) and 3 percent support Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich (search).
Six percent of voters were still undecided; 30 percent say they could still change their minds.
Another poll has Dean in a statistical dead heat with Kerry, who delivered a stunning win in the Iowa caucuses last week.
A Zogby/MSNBC/Reuters poll released Monday shows Kerry ahead with 28 percent of the vote, Dean in second with 25 percent, Clark in third with 11 percent, Edwards with 10 percent and Lieberman with 9 percent.
That same poll on Sunday showed Kerry with a 7-point lead over Dean.
American Research Group (search) conducts almost daily tracking polls in New Hampshire and elsewhere. Their latest poll shows Kerry with an 18 percent lead over Dean.
"People are telling us they're shopping still … we think they're set on Kerry but they're still looking around," American Research Group President Dick Bennett told Fox News on Monday. "What they're telling us is they want to vote for the person who can beat George W. Bush."
A CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll taken Jan. 24-25 gave Kerry 36 percent, Dean 25 percent and Clark 13 percent. Edwards and Lieberman got 10 percent. A Marist Institute poll conducted from Jan. 23-25 gave Kerry 37 percent, Dean 24 percent Clark and Edwards 11 percent and Lieberman 9 percent.
Candidates are keeping a blistering pace going door-to-door to meet Granite State voters.
Kerry, campaigning in Nashua over the weekend and in Portsmouth Monday, refused to get into any political sniping and continued to downplay the polls.
On "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace," Kerry was optimistic about his campaign.
"I'm very excited about our prospects," Kerry said. "We're doing very well with voters of New Hampshire. You take one step at a time you take nothing for granted."
Kerry aides said their polling numbers stabilized around 30 percent.
But others said not to give too much credence to the all-over-the-board polls when it comes to the Granite State.
"This is New Hampshire -- they don't like to be told who they're going to vote for," said Ann Kornblut of The Boston Globe, whose latest poll gave Kerry 37 percent support, Dean 17 percent and Edwards 12 percent. But "the poll numbers really do present an expectations game, and that's what Kerry's dealing with."
The Undecided Factor
Kerry's crowds have mostly been committed supporters, former backers of Rep. Dick Gephardt (search), the Missouri congressman who dropped out of the presidential running after coming in a disappointing fourth in last week's Iowa caucuses. Many of Kerry's supporters are also considered "leaners" who, until Iowa, were afraid they would waste their vote.
Sources told Fox News that Kerry expects to be endorsed by Gephardt later this week.
Over the weekend, Kerry hired Gephardt top aide Steve Elmendorf to be his new political director. Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, a Gephardt protege and his most loyal congressional lieutenant, also campaigned for Kerry.
State Sen. Debra Pignatellli (search), an ardent Gephardt supporter, also endorsed Kerry and invited Gephardt supporters to join the Kerry campaign.
Kerry aides still maintain that there are big surprises coming in Missouri before the Feb. 3 primaries. Of those primary states, Missouri has the most delegates and its demographic makeup mirrors the nation.
New Hampshire voters "see him as the real deal -- the exact kind of person we need … to lead this nation in the right direction," former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, a Kerry supporter, told Fox News on Monday.
But the Massachusetts senator may have a problem winning converts because of the large "anybody but Kerry" vote that has developed in New Hampshire, benefiting Edwards.
Several top Dean aides told Fox News they thought there was a slight chance he would still win. If Dean doesn't at least come out in second place, his candidacy will be in trouble.
"The race is getting this close," Dean told supporters, holding two fingers apart and drawing them together. "Striking distance of winning."
Edwards has seen a surge in crowd size at his events, but many have been "shoppers" -- undecideds who hop to several candidate events and compare.
A top-three slot in New Hampshire would propel Edwards in the Feb. 3 South Carolina primary, where he could argue New Englanders Kerry and Dean can’t compete against Republicans.
Former U.S. Sen. John Durkin (search) of New Hampshire, who last week announced he was withdrawing his endorsement of Dean, also has announced that he is throwing his support to Edwards.
Lieberman, whose "Integrity One" bus has been touring New Hampshire, acknowledged Monday that he needs a strong showing from voters there, but added that his campaign has only just begun.
"This is a very fluid situation. A lot of voters remain undecided," the Connecticut senator said a coffee shop in Manchester. "The polls are encouraging. I've said I'm going to do better than expected here. My campaign is going to begin in New Hampshire, not end here."
Lieberman later said Democrats, and especially Independents, will be key.
Clark hit the road on a campaign bus just after dawn Monday, planning to make stops in all 10 New Hampshire counties. He told one woman the Republican party is a "heartless organization" and another that he earned the respect of other nations as NATO Supreme Allied Commander.
Kucinich hit the radio airwaves Monday in Manchester, saying he led the fight in the House to stop the march to war, and also questioned the White House's evidence on weapons of mass destruction long before any of the other Democratic candidates began criticizing the president's Iraq policy.
What's at Stake
No candidate has ever become president without coming in first or second in the Granite State.
New Hampshire offers 22 delegates to the Democratic national convention, less than half of Iowa's 45, and less than one-tenth of the 269 up for grabs during the Feb. 3 primaries in Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Carolina.
A win in New Hampshire brings more cash, momentum and headlines than anywhere else.
"The momentum that comes out of New Hampshire spills over to the other states whose primaries are next week," New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson told Fox News on Monday. Of Dean, Benson added: "I do think he has a decent ground game in a number of other states, so that should help him out."
After New Hampshire, it's tougher for candidates who are strapped for cash or trailing in the polls to keep up with the pace.
Kerry's has been focusing his ads on Missouri. Dean is strong in New Mexico and Arizona, but he's suspended his ads everywhere for an all-out push in New Hampshire.
Clark, who also needs Palmetto State to continue on as a viable candidate, is airing ads there, as well as in Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Lieberman also made an early play in South Carolina but has focused ads in Arizona and Oklahoma.
Fox News' Carl Cameron, Kelly Wright and The Associated Press contributed to this report.