Fifth-Place Kucinich Vows: ‘I’m in the Race All the Way’

Posted February 11, 2004 at 6:39pm

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), a distant fifth in delegates in what is now a five-way presidential chase, on Wednesday reiterated his vow to keep campaigning through to the July Democratic nominating convention.

“I’m in the race all the way,” Kucinich insisted in a phone interview.

Arguably the most liberal Democratic candidate in the race, Kucinich said he would bow out only if it becomes impossible for him to capture the nomination. That could happen after the March 2 Super Tuesday primary in which 10 states cast ballots.

“There’s still time,” Kucinich said, although he acknowledged that there “comes a point at which everyone understands if someone captures mathematically the delegates, they have the nomination.”

“If no one has them into convention, it’s anyone’s race, provided they get delegates of their own,” he continued.

Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) is the frontrunner with 433 delegates, and appears on his way to capturing the more than 2,162 needed to win the party’s nod. Retired Gen. Wesley Clark withdrew from the race Tuesday night after failing to win primaries in either Virginia or Tennessee.

The pool of candidates is rounded out by Kucinich, Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and the Rev. Al Sharpton

Kucinich said from the beginning that he would not drop out, even though he acknowledged he was a dark horse. The former Cleveland mayor, who has a made a name for himself in the campaign opposing the war in Iraq, does have a following and finished third in the Washington and Maine primaries. He has earned two delegates so far.

At the same time, however, Kucinich hasn’t gained significant traction elsewhere in the country.

“It is a very unpredictable political season,” Kucinich said of his chances. “A month ago who would have thought Howard Dean would be in the situation he is today.”

Dean was deemed the early frontrunner in the presidential primary, but started to fall out of favor after he finished third in the Iowa caucuses and delivered a widely criticized concession speech. Dean has also pledged to stay on, even though he earlier called Wisconsin’s primary his final opportunity to make a comeback.

“I will just say that I’m still on course, pursuing this campaign all way to convention,” Kucinich said.