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Originally published Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Campaign Notebook

Kucinich tells backers in Iowa: Obama is Plan B

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich on Tuesday asked his supporters to make rival Sen. Barack Obama their second choice if...

DES MOINES, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich on Tuesday asked his supporters to make rival Sen. Barack Obama their second choice if he doesn't meet a cutoff point for voting in Iowa's caucuses.

Kucinich, an Ohio congressman at the back of the pack of Democratic hopefuls, seemed to concede a loss in the caucuses. He said his recommendation was for "Iowa only."

Candidates in Thursday night's caucuses must reach a level of support in each of the state's 1,781 precincts, typically 15 percent of those who attend. Candidates who fail to meet that aren't considered viable, and their supporters can move to another candidate or go home.

"I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice ... 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."

Obama, of Illinois, thanked Kucinich, saying, "I'm honored that he has done this because we both believe deeply in the need for fundamental change."

Huckabee to appear on "Tonight Show"

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa — Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee will trade jokes tonight with Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show."

While his rivals will be making a final appeal to Iowa's voters, Huckabee will be flying to Los Angeles to tape the show with Leno, who returns to the air tonight without striking writers.

"It's just an incredible opportunity to be there, particularly the very first night he's back from the writers strike," Huckabee said. "Besides, if all else fails and this whole process doesn't work out, maybe he needs a sidekick and I'll be auditioning tomorrow."

Romney gives more money to campaign

JOHNSTON, Iowa — Mitt Romney, the wealthiest candidate in the presidential contest, indicated he again supplemented his fundraising by tapping his fortune during the past three months.

With assets between $190 million and $250 million, Romney had pumped more than $17 million of his own money into his campaign by the end of September. Without the personal funds, Romney's campaign would have been operating at a deficit.

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"I'm sure I made additional contributions in the fourth quarter, but I don't have any numbers for you," he said Tuesday. "And, we're not going to get into the numbers until sometime probably in the middle of the month."

Campaigns don't have to file end-of-year campaign finance reports until Jan. 31.

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