CLEVELAND (TDB) -- Cleveland congressman Dennis Kucinich has a favorite in the presidential race other than himself. He is urging his Iowa supporters to vote for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama when Democrats caucus Thursday night to select a 2008 presidential nominee. The Ohioan released a statement this evening datelined Des Moines that says Kucinich backers should jump aboard Obama's bandwagon if Kucinich fails to reach a 15% threshhold in the caucuses. The Cleveland Democrat barely registers in the polls, so he's not likely to come close to the 15% mark. And his pro-Obama generosity probably won't make much difference because Kucinich has so few supporters in Iowa. However, those loyalists could deliver a few hundred votes. And those might turn out to be crucial if Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are micrometers apart in Thursday's voting.
Here's Kucinich's statement:
"I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice 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 added that his generosity applies only to Iowa. He expects to run stronger in the New Hampshire primary five days later "where I want to be the first choice of New Hampshire." There is no evidence in the polls that Kucinich will come anywhere near the top in that state, either.