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Biden and Dodd Leave the Race

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) (AP).; Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) (AP.)

By Shailagh Murray
DES MOINES -- The two veteran lawmakers of the Democratic race, Sens. Joseph Biden (Del) and Christopher Dodd (Conn.), abandoned their candidacies after poor showings in last night's Iowa caucuses.

Biden, who was elected to the Senate in 1972 and serves as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, had hoped large crowds in recent weeks would help earn at least a fourth-place showing. But that support failed to materialize, and Biden netted only about 2 percent of delegates, about half what recent polls had predicted.

"There is nothing sad about tonight. We are so incredibly proud of you all," Biden told his supporters. "So many of you have sacrificed for me and I am so indebted to you. I feel no regret."

Dodd, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee and is serving his fifth term, posted a worse showing, registering just .02 percent of Democratic support.

"Let me assure you, we are not ending this race with our heads hanging but our heads held high," he told about 100 supporters at a rally in Des Moines. "I am not going anywhere."

Dodd moved his wife and two young daughters to Des Moines and built a sizable state-wide organization, including 13 offices and a large payroll of campaign professionals. Biden also blitzed the state, scooping up endorsements from state and local officials, and offering crowds intricate discourses on foreign policy.

But in a year when voters said they were seeking change, both veteran senators struck Iowans as a little too familiar, fixtures of a Washington establishment that had grown stale from years of gridlock and partisan infighting.

Biden's presidential bid was his second, having dropped out of the 1988 race before the Iowa caucuses.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 4, 2008; 1:01 AM ET
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