The New Hampshire primary so thoroughly muddled the presidential campaign outlook that other leading Democrats will be powerfully tempted to enter the race. Conservative Patrick J. Buchanan's strong challenge to President Bush left the Republicans with a wounded leader in the White House but no plausible alternative to take his place at the top of the GOP ticket. As a result, attention during the next fortnight leading up to the Maryland primary March 3 will probably focus on a furious scramble among the Democrats.
Paul E. Tsongas, the self-described "pro-business liberal" who came from out of nowhere to win the Democratic runoff in New Hampshire, is in Maryland today in a bid to keep his Cinderella candidacy alive. Here and in South Dakota next week the former Massachusetts senator has to prove he is more than a regional candidate. His chief rival in New Hampshire, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, has to prove something quite different that his standing in his native South gives him a home base for a national following.
Haunting Messrs. Tsongas and Clinton, as well as also-rans Bob Kerrey, Tom Harkin and Jerry Brown, is the lively prospect of late entries by "first-tier" candidates who opted out earlier, figuring Mr. Bush was shoo-in. New York Gov. Mario Cuomo (whose write-in effort in New Hampshire proved lackluster), Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, Sen. Al Gore of Tennessee and House majority leader Richard Gephardt are under intense pressure. Even Jesse Jackson is reconsidering.