Dennis Kucinich presidential campaign, 2008

Dennis Kucinich for President 2008
Campaign U.S. presidential election, 2008
Candidate Dennis Kucinich
House Representative of Ohio

Mayor of Cleveland
Affiliation Democratic Party
Slogan Strength through Peace
Dennis Kucinich 2008

The 2008 presidential campaign of Dennis Kucinich, House Representative of Ohio and former mayor of Cleveland, began on December 12, 2006 when he announced that he would seek the nomination for the Democratic Party to run for President of the United States. Although a Democratic candidate, he was not included in the New Hampshire debates on January 4, 2008 or the South Carolina debates on January 21, 2008 because of his poor showings in the Iowa caucuses and the polls.

On Thursday, January 24, 2008, Kucinich dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination after failing to draw more than 10% of the vote in a single contest. In withdrawing from the race, he cited his exclusion from Presidential debates and to continue his service in Congress.[1]

Campaign platform

Kucinich with his wife in January 2008.

On December 11, 2006 in a speech delivered at Cleveland City Hall, Kucinich announced he would seek the nomination of the Democratic Party for President in 2008. His platform[2] for 2008 included:

Kucinich describes his stance on the issues as mainstream.[3] "My politics are center for the Democratic party," he said in an interview before an AFL-CIO sponsored debate.[4]


Kucinich was last (ranging from 8 to 12th) in early polls but got stronger and in June and July climbed to 4th and 5th in several polls. In the Rasmussen Reports poll of August 14, 2007, he was tied for 5th place, behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and tied with Senator Joe Biden. Data from Rasmussen Reports The latest Rasmussen poll of Democratic candidates, released on September 5, 2007 showed Kucinich in a tie for fourth place with Governor Richardson with 4% of Democratic voters saying they support him.[5] The latest Fox News poll that did not include former Vice President Al Gore placed Kucinich with 4% of registered Democratic voters, behind Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards. Including Gore, Kucinich is tied with Governor Richardson.

In the early primary state of New Hampshire, Kucinich has polled as high as tied for 4th place at 7%.[6]

Kucinich has fared much better with unofficial online polls of "netroots" voters, winning the November 2007 Democracy for America "pulse poll", taking first place in over 40 states . Likewise, Kucinich took first in a Daily Kos poll of who won the Las Vegas presidential primary debate .


Kucinich's campaign was endorsed by Willie Nelson, Gore Vidal, Shelley Morrison, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Penn,[7] the Mexican American Political Association,[8] Atlanta Progressive News,[9] and Bill Rosendahl[10]

Exclusions from debates and primaries

Kucinich was excluded from the January 15, 2008 debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kucinich sued for the right to participate in the debate, but the Nevada Supreme Court ruled in favor of MSNBC.[11]

Kucinich was excluded from Texas Democratic Primary because he refused to sign a so-called "loyalty oath," which required the signers to "fully support the Democratic nominee for president, whoever that shall be." Kucinich lost his federal suit to be included on the ballot. Kucinich is appealing the decision to the United States Supreme Court.[12]

Withdrawal from race

On January 24, 2008, Dennis Kucinich dropped his presidential bid.[13]

Endorsements of other candidates

Kucinich named Ron Paul as his choice running mate in November, 2007.[14] In a January 1, 2008 press release Kucinich asked his Iowa supports to make Barack Obama their second choice as he endorsed Obama.[15]

On August 26, 2008, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention Kucinich gave a spirited speech structured around the refrain "Wake up America!" The speech levies trenchant criticism of the perceived abuses of power of the George W. Bush administration, attacks the corporate control of the American political and economic systems and rallies for a program of universal health coverage, universal higher education, tax reform, trade policy reform, energy regulation, civil liberties and de-militarization. At the end of the speech, Kucinich reiterates his endorsement for Barack Obama and Joe Biden for president and vice-president. His words electrified the audience who began delivering a standing ovation midway through the speech and continued cheering past its closure.[16]

Delegate count

2008 Democratic presidential primaries delegate count
As of June 10, 2008
Candidate Actual
pledged delegates1
(3,253 of 3,909 total)
pledged delegates2
(3,409 of 3,909 total)
(694 of 825 total)
Estimated total delegates2
(4,103 of 4,934 total;
2,118 needed to win)
Barack Obama 1,661 1,763 438 2,201
Hillary Rodham Clinton 1,592 1,640 256 1,896
John Edwards 6 6
Color key
  1st place
  Candidate has withdrawn his/her campaign
1 "Primary Season Election Results". The New York Times. June 26, 2008. Archived from the original on June 26, 2008. 
2 "Election Center 2008 Primaries and Caucuses: Results: Democratic Scorecard". CNN. August 20, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 

Notes and references

  1. Cillizza, Chris. Why Kucinich Dropped Out Now. The Washington Post, January 24, 2008.
  2. - Issues
  3. Naymik, Mark. "Many Kucinich backers are out there – way out". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
  4. Dennis Kucinich interview on MSNBC's Hardball program, August 8, 2007 (5:37 into clip)
  6. Resmussen Reports poll
  7. Sean Penn Endorses Dennis Kucinich In SF - News Story - KNTV | San Francisco,
  8. - Kucinich wins presidential endorsement from key Mexican American organization
  9. - APN Endorses Kucinich, McKinney for US Presidential Primaries
  10. - L. A. City Councilor Bill Rosendahl endorses Kucinich
  11. Stelter, Brian (January 15, 2008). "NBC Wins Battle Over Debate". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
  12. Barnes, Robert (January 17, 2008). "Kucinich Asks for Supreme Court Review of Texas Case". Washington Post. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
  13. Kucinich withdraws from Presidential race at Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  14. Press TV - Kucinich favors Paul as running mate
  15. "...I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change."
  16. Associated Press. "Remarks delivered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday." 8/26/08, 9:12 PM EDT. Archived on Accessed 1/10/11, 12:37 AM EDT.

See also

External links

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