Democrats Battle For Endorsements

This story was written by Matt Spialek, The Daily Vidette
With no apparent nominee on the Democratic side, candidates are scrambling to receive influential endorsements that could sway the electorate.

This past week, 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Kerry's support comes as a surprise considering his former running mate, John Edwards, is also seeking the nomination.

"You would think that he would endorse John Edwards," Stephanie Gradle, a junior politics and government major and president of ISU College Republicans, said.

Gradle speculates that as the election becomes a two-person race between Clinton and Obama, people would be more willing to endorse a candidate that has a better chance of winning the nomination.

Although Kerry endorsed Obama, some wonder how influential his support is.

"He has actually been out of the limelight since he lost," Gradle said.

"Whether or not John Kerry's endorsement of Obama will have an immense effect on the campaign process as a whole is yet to be seen. Although John Kerry remains a leader in the Democratic Party, the influence of his endorsement may not reflect that leadership position and thus may not result in votes," Kelly McKenna, a junior politics and government major and vice president of ISU Independent Voters, said.

Gradle believed that an endorsement by former Vice President Al Gore would be more beneficial than Kerry's.

However, a Kerry endorsement is not the only one Obama received this week.

The Nevada Culinary Workers Union endorsed the Illinois senator as the state's caucuses quickly approach on Jan. 19.

Representing a large number of workers in the state of Nevada, the union's support could be the boost Obama needs to edge out Clinton for the win.

"If you are able to mobilize a large group of people as a candidate then that is a positive, though there are many unions who support different candidates. Thus, the overall impact of the support from the culinary workers union could be diminished by other unions supporting different candidates," McKenna added.

El Mundo, the oldest and largest Spanish newspaper in Nevada, endorsed Obama's top rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Unlike the first two caucuses or primaries, Nevada has a significant Latino population that could affect the polls.

In regards to media sources endorsing a candidate, McKenna said, "If this newspaper is able to reach a large number of voters who other media sources have not reached, this could help her. It depends on the size of the newspaper's readership, the credibility of the newspaper, as well as the amount of influence other competing sources of information have, and the availability of other media resources."

According to cnn.com, Clinton is leading in Nevada with 34 percent followed by Obama with 26 percent. John Edwards is running a distant third at 9 percent.
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