Published on
the Chicago Sun Times

Kucinich Supports Obama for Second

Lynn Sweet

AMES, Iowa -- White House hopeful Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who is likely not to survive a first round of balloting in Thursday's Democratic Iowa caucus, today told his supporters to back Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as their second choice.

"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," Kucinich said in a statement.

While Kucinich was barely pulling any backing according to all polls - thereby making it likely he would not make the 15 percent threshold vote needed to win delegates - his voters going for Obama in a second round could be critical for Obama coming out of Iowa ahead of rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) or former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)

Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz said the deal was finalized today and Obama called him at about 2 p.m. Central Time to thank him for his support. In making the second choice deal with Obama, Kucinich decided not to do a replay of 2004, where his followers were asked to support Edwards as their second choice, helping to provide Edwards with his margin for coming in second.

In a statement, Obama said, "I have a lot of respect for Congressman Kucinich, and I'm honored that he has done this because we both believe deeply in the need for fundamental change."

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