Dems Jockey for 2nd in Iowa

Unusual rules, probability of inconclusive result motivate candidates
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 2:30 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., gestures to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., as former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., listens during the debate sponsored by CNN, YouTube and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two days before the Iowa caucuses, the leading Democratic candidates are looking to exploit unusual rules that allow supporters of candidates who get less than 15% of first-round ballots in a precinct to switch their votes in a second round. Of the top three, the LA Times reports, John Edwards ranks highest as a second choice among supporters of Joe Biden and Bill Richardson.

Even as they vie for a few crucial extra points, Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton are coming to accept the possibility that the race may end in a three-way tie, effectively settling nothing, the New York Times reports. "It would be like a six-month trial and a hung jury," said a top Obama aide.