Kucinich Tops Liberal Activists' Poll

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Liberal activists across the country voted Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) as their favorite candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination in a poll released Tuesday by Democracy for America (DFA). Yet other national polls - not exclusively of liberal activists - show Kucinich trailing frontrunners such as Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D- Ill.).

Nationally, Kucinich received almost 32 percent of the 150,000 votes cast in the Internet poll. Clinton, the frontrunner in primary polls, received only 4.2 percent of the votes. Her closest rival, Obama (D-Ill.), received 13.9 percent.

In second place behind Kucinich was former Vice President Al Gore, who is not officially running for the nomination. Gore earned 24.8 percent of the votes. Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) received 15.6 percent of the votes.

All the major candidates except Clinton and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Conn.) campaigned for votes in the poll. Gore supporters who have been encouraging him to run for the nomination organized a write-in campaign, propelling him into second place nationwide, according to poll organizers.

In an e-mail to members Tuesday night, the DFA said Kucinich won because "he made his progressive record clear on Iraq, universal health care, and the patriot act (sic) clear." The group said Kucinich's victory in their poll "further underscores a growing surge of support" for the long-shot candidate.

Kucinich still trails the Democratic frontrunners by wide margins in national polls on the primary. A Nov. 2-4 CNN/Opinion Research poll showed Clinton with 44 percent support, Obama with 25 percent support and Kucinich in seventh place with two percent. A recent Newsweek poll found Kucinich in fifth place with four percent.

DFA Executive Director Arshad Hasan said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday that while the poll is not scientific, it shows that Democratic activists "reject the beltway pundits' narrative that there is a clear frontrunner in Hillary Clinton."

While the poll may not predict who will win the Democratic nomination, Hasan said it provides "an excellent showing of how much support you can muster online." He said organizers expected strong showings from Edwards and Obama, who have been involved online campaign operations but said Kucinich's win was a surprise.

"I think what happened here is our activists started hearing from Kucinich much more than they had in the past," Hasan said, adding that "his message is very compelling for our members."

Hasan said support for Edwards and Obama is broad and deep because of the wide support they earned as second and third choices for the nomination. "I'm not sure how deep that support [for Kucinich] goes," he said. "You see so many people who have supported Kucinich because they got a message."

A spokesman for Kucinich did not respond to requests for comment for this report.

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