SAN MATEO, CA - Despite millions of campaign dollars being spent by the poll-leading Democratic Presidential candidates to woo California voters, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich scored a stunning second-place finish in a bell-weather Presidential straw poll here today.

In a caucus-like setting open to all Democratic voters in the state, Kucinich came in significantly ahead of top-spenders Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and only slightly behind former U.S. Senator John Edwards.

Official results released by the San Mateo County Democratic Party this evening showed that Edwards received 29% of the total votes cast, Kucinich received just under 24%, and Obama and Clinton came in third and fourth, with 22.5% and 16.8% respectively. The other Democratic candidates were all in the low single digits.

"This is clear and compelling evidence of the strong and rising undercurrent of grassroots support for our campaign, not just in California, but all across the country," Kucinich said. "When independent-minded Democratic voters and activists have the chance to vote their beliefs and their consciences, celebrity and campaign war chests don't matter."

While an analysis of the San Mateo straw poll results was not immediately available, attendees reported their support for Kucinich was based on his adamant and longstanding opposition to the war in Iraq, his proposal for a universal, national not-for-profit health care system that would cover all Americans, his opposition to the so-called U.S.A. Patriot Act, his call for a repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and his Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Richard B. Cheney."

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