As a larger point, however, the basis for the ABC-WMUR exclusion of Kucinich, and any other candidate for that matter, is baseless. I say this because in a WMUR/CNN poll, conducted four days ago on Jan. 2nd, it stated:
"However, only 42% of likely Democratic primary voters say they have definitely decided who they will vote for, 27% say they are leaning toward a candidate and 32% said they are still trying to decide."That statement, from one of WMUR's OWN polls, discredits their basis for excluding any candidate. I readily admit that ABC's reasoning is understandable: they want to, ostensibly, include the candidates whom voters are, according to polling, most demonstrably interested in--yet therein lies the question, do the voters know who they are interested in yet? And that question exactly is what, four days ago, WMUR, together with CNN, answered:
"...only 42% of likely Democratic primary voters say they have definitely decided who they will vote for, 27% say they are leaning toward a candidate and 32% said they are still trying to decide." (emphasis added)Therefore, the question becomes, if only 42% of these New Hampshire Democratic primary voters have "definitely decided," how will the other 58% make up their mind? Well, one might think it reasonable that they would watch the final Democratic debates, held a short three days before the New Hampshire primary. Not only is that reasonable, but is it not likely that many were waiting for this final debate to make up their mind? And what conclusion might they draw after tuning into this highly publicized media frenzy? Might it slightly (read: almost entirely) make them think that the only real options are the four candidates participating?
Yet the elephant in the room is the fact that the 58% of undecided Democratic New Hampshire voters could still choose Kucinich, or Mike Gravel, who was also excluded. Yes, they could also not choose them, but there's the rub: many will feel the all-knowing media has presented them with the only real choices. Yet, with 58% still not certain, are there not enough in New Hampshire, not even counting Independents, to give Kucinich a strong showing? I'll just end with part of a recent Kucinich endorsement by Sean Penn, in which he stated:
"I’ve been torn lately, I’ve been torn by the allure of electability…here’s how simple it is. If those of us who truly believe in the Constitution of the United States, all of us, vote for Dennis Kucinich, he’ll be elected. Could we call him electable then?"Please consider going here and here to express your discontentment with ABC's decision (and vote in my poll below as well)--a protest in the streets would feel more refreshing, but a flood of their inbox may be a good option in the meantime. By the way, the numbers I quoted above from the WMUR/CNN poll are available at the bottom of page one in their survey, located here.
Update 2: Lots of comments on this issue here, on Bill Moyers' PBS blog.