Richardson Backs Obama as Iowa Fallback
Chase Martyn of the Iowa Independent has the story — and a rundown on Richardson’s rather complicated strategery:
Richardson, whose poll numbers in Iowa have hovered near 10% since June, may need a solid fourth-place finish in the caucuses to continue his campaign. And he is best served by directing support away from former Sen. John Edwards, who consistently polls between him and the two national front-runners, Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, in national and early state polls.
But Richardson’s modest gains from diverting second-choice support away from Edwards may be eclipsed by Obama’s potential success on caucus night, should everything go as planned. If Richardson’s field organization manages to direct a significant number of supporters to Obama, it could be enough to win him the Iowa Caucuses. And if Edwards loses a large block of second-round voters, a group he seems to be relying on to break in his direction, it could irreparably damage his campaign.
Richardson would prefer an Obama victory over Clinton because a Clinton victory could end the campaign before New Hampshire voters even head to the polls. And if Edwards’s numbers look weak, Richardson could head to New Hampshire as the best alternative to the top two contenders for the Democratic nomination.
Of course, since most of us have figured all along that Richardson was running for vice president, this may reflect his judgment that Obama, not Clinton or Edwards, will emerge as the nominee.
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