Clinton suffers virtual defeat in MoveOn vote on Iraq

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, lagged behind her main competitors, as well as some lower-tier candidates, in a straw poll taken after a virtual town hall meeting on Iraq.

Seven Democratic White House hopefuls participated in the April 10 event, sponsored by the influential MoveOn.org Political Action PAC, and MoveOn members picked Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) as the candidate who “would be best able to lead the country out of Iraq.”

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Obama received 27.87 percent of the vote, followed closely by former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards with 24.84 percent. A total of 42,882 MoveOn members participated in the vote.

Clinton finished a distant fifth with 10.7 percent, also trailing Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) with 17.18 percent and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson with 12.26 percent.

The vote could indicate trouble for Clinton, who is criticized by liberals for not having been more outspoken about the war when Congress authorized it.