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Kucinich Left Out Of Iowa Presidential Debate

Dennis Kucinich has been excluded from Thursday's Democratic debate.

In a press release, the Kucinich campaign fumed: "The highest polling Democratic Presidential candidate among the Party's progressive, grassroots, activist base, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, has been excluded from the Des Moines Register-sponsored Presidential debate here on Thursday because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront."

In a statement included in the Kucinich release, the Register said it "was our determination that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa." The person they are referring to is Kucinich Iowa Field Director and State Coordinator Marcos Rubinstein, "who coordinates campaign activities from his home office in Dubuque, bolstered by a dozen-or-so other senior campaign staff who have traveled the state over the past several months," according to the Kucinich campaign.

In the latest Register poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, Kucinich came in at 1 percent support, the same as Chris Dodd. In the most recent CBS News/New York Times poll of Democrats nationally, Kucinich had 2 percent support – more than Dodd and the same as Bill Richardson and Joe Biden. Dodd, Richardson and Biden were all invited to Thursday's debate.

Interestingly, the Register is including Alan Keyes in it's Republican debate today, despite the fact that he has little support and has been left out of most debates thus far.

The Kucinich campaign calls the exclusion "arbitrary and unreasonable."

"The Iowa caucuses have been portrayed as having national implications, and if the Register has decided to use hair-splitting technicalities to exclude the leading voice of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, then the entire process is suspect," it said in the release.

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