Even as they scrambled through the final hours of the New Hampshire primary, strategists for the major Democratic campaigns said they were preparing for a long, hard and expensive march through the next five weeks of primaries and caucuses, a far more complicated race than many had predicted just a month ago.
The struggle for the Democratic nomination is transformed after New Hampshire, becoming more of a national race, and putting a premium on competing in many states and steadily acquiring delegates. On Feb. 3, seven states, from South Carolina to Arizona, will hold primaries or caucuses, the beginning of four weeks of contests that will climax on March 2, when 10 states weigh in, including New York and California.
At the start of this year, many Democrats believed that Howard Dean could quickly wrap up the nomination, with back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, a huge financial advantage and a wave of political momentum.
But with predictions of a quick Dean knockout now shattered, strategists with the major campaigns say they are now adjusting to a contest that may not be resolved until March 2, if then.