A Last-Minute Obama Boost?

Barack Obama might be the recipient of some last-minute love from his Democratic rivals in the Iowa caucuses that could give him the push he needs to win Thursday night, according to new reports.

The wrangling comes over the arcane viability rules distinct to the Iowa Democratic caucuses, in which candidates must receive an initial 15 percent support from participants to go onto second-round voting. (Confused? See ‘What’s a Caucus’ video on http://youdecide08.foxnews.com/iowa/)

Following earlier reports, The New York Times “The Caucus” blog reports that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Illinois Sen. Obama have worked out a plan where Richardson’s campaign will ask its supporters to caucus for Obama should Richardson not meet viability. According to an Obama campaign source: In return, in precincts where Richardson has a chance and Obama has votes to spare, he’ll lend them to Richardson.

Late Wednesday, the Iowa Independent blog late Wednesday cited two anonymous sources familiar Richardson’s campaign who said organizers also have been instructed to redirect support for the Illinois senator.

Officially, the Obama and Richardson campaigns deny the reports.

The Washington Post’s “The Trail” blog earlier Thursday reported that Delaware Sen. Joe Biden’s campaign is in discussions to direct its supporters to Obama should Biden not make the cut. Biden, the Post says, is motivated to stay ahead of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and make the cut to stay in the upcoming weekend debates.

Biden’s campaigns also denied the plans, but should the Richardson or Biden plans become reality, they would join Rep. Dennis Kucinich. His campaign already has indicated that it would direct its support to Obama should Kucinich fail to win viability in Thursday’s polls. (Obama and Kucinich see eye-to-eye on the Iraq war. Before gaining his Senate seat, Obama said he was opposed to the war; Kucinich voted against the war resolution and has not voted to approve funding for Iraq.)

All three have a high hurdle to leap to surpass the viability requirement, but should their supporters all stand behind one candidate, it could prove decisive.

If this is the case, Iowa seems to be Obamas to lose tonight. Credit Kucinich for getting this ball rolling.

Ron

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