Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Kucinich Signals Obama Support

This just in from the Kucinich camp:

Kucinich Urges Supporters to
Back Obama on Second Iowa Ballot

For Immediate Release - Tuesday, January 01, 2008

DES MOINES, IA - Democratic Presidential candidate and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich opened the New Year by publicly asking his Iowa supporters to vote for him in the caucuses this Thursday, and suggesting that if he did not make the 15% threshold, their second ballot should be for Senator Barack Obama. "This is obviously an 'Iowa-only' recommendation, as Sen. Obama and I are competing in the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday where I want to be the first choice of New Hampshire voters.

"I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice this Thursday, because of my singular positions on the war, on health care, and trade. This is an opportunity for people to stand up for themselves. But in those caucus locations where my support doesn't reach the necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change."

# # #

Second-choice votes could end up deciding Iowa, so this sort of thing definitely matters. However, Kucinich has barely run in Iowa, and will likely has less support that the approximately four percent he showed in pre-caucus entrance polling in 2004.

If a deal is struck by one of the top three with Dodd, or especially Biden or Richardson, though, it could be significant.

Biden and Richardson are particularly interesting. I get the feeling that Richardson would endorse Clinton if he dropped out, but that Biden would support Obama.

However, it's possible each's supporters would feel the opposite. If Biden's
are with him due to experience, it would seem Obama would be an unusual place for them to end up. And Richardson's supporters seem very much about big change in Washington and could be drawn to Obama or Edwards.

Then again, I can tell you much of Biden's appeal has to do with his great speaking ability and his judgment. So, as with so many other things about this race, what do we really know?

UPDATE: Time's Jay Carney writes that Kucinich's move is a "huge deal" because of how much it meant to Edwards in 2004. It was significant for Edwards then, but not huge, and it will be much less so this year. Kucinich is polling much less than four years ago, mainly because the Democratic field is so much better this time around.

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