In the first real test of grassroots support for the eight Democratic Presidential candidates, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich scored a stunning first place finish nationally and topped every other candidate in 41 of 50 states, according to results released late last night by Democracy for America (DFA).
Of the 150,000-plus ballots cast, Kucinich received more votes than former Senator John Edwards and Senator Barack Obama combined. Kucinich tallied 49,364 (31.97%), compared with Edwards' 24,078 (15.6%), Obama's 21,403 (13.86%), and Senator Hillary Clinton's 6,504 (4.21%).
Kucinich was the top vote-getter in 41 states, including the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. In South Carolina, another early voting state, Kucinich came in second to Obama by less than one half of one percent.
Undeclared write-in candidate and former Vice President Al Gore scored second nationally with 24.77% of the vote, and he "won" six states: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida. Kucinich came in second in each of those six states.
Obama won only his home state of Illinois, as well as South Carolina. Edwards' only win was in the state of Washington, where Kucinich came in second.
In an email announcement last night, DFA told members and friends, " ... no one worked harder to win your support than Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He made his progressive record on Iraq, universal health care, and the patriot act clear. He didn't just ask for your vote, he worked for the votes of your friends and neighbors. He asked his supporters to join DFA and vote to make sure you heard his message. He shot videos, issued press releases, and met with local DFA leaders and members all over the country to try and get your vote. And it worked."
DFA called Kucinich's victory "astounding."
Yesterday's victory further underscores a growing surge of support that has put Kucinich in fourth place nationally in some polls, second in a major California straw poll, and tied for fourth place with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in New Hampshire, only seven points behind Edwards.
Kucinich is expected to comment further on the DFA results on Wednesday.