DES MOINES -- Sen. Joseph Biden wants to beat New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson tonight. And Sen. Barack Obama could help him do that.
A source close to the Biden campaign described a possible arrangement, now under discussion between the two camps, that could apply to certain precincts where Biden can't meet the 15 percent viability threshold, but where he is backed by local officials with the clout to move Biden supporters to Obama. In return, Biden could capture some of Obama's overflow in precincts where the Illinois senator has more than enough support to win.
Of course the details are secret, but team Biden knows exactly how much support it needs, and where, for the Delaware senator to finish fourth, ideally in double digits. Biden's poor showing in one public poll after another has confounded many Hawkeye political observers, given the large and enthusiastic crowds he draws, along with his impressive foreign policy resume. But while Biden was unable to raise the money needed to build the statewide ground organization needed to contend here, he did cultivate key relationships across rural Iowa. And some of these state and local officials have informed the campaign that they are backing Obama as their second choice.