Together the second tier candidates are accounting for about 15%-20% in recent polling. So that could really help Obama gain the second choice votes he needs to win.

First, the Richardson deal…

Two well-placed sources told Iowa Independent last night that Gov. Bill Richardson’s campaign plans to direct their supporters to Sen. Barack Obama in precincts where their candidate does not reach the 15% threshold for viability.

Today, more sources have come forward to tell Iowa Independent that some supporters of Sen. Barack Obama have been directed to swing delegates to Gov. Bill Richardson in certain counties and precincts. Sources confirm that in at least three counties, Obama campaign field organizers have told their supporters to drive support to Richardson. The three confirmed counties are all likely Obama strongholds, and each county will assign a relatively high number of delegates tonight. We have decided not to list the counties by name to protect sources’ anonymity.

Now the Biden deal…

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.

Oh, and don’t forget the Kucinich supporters either.

T-minus 15 minutes and counting…

Politics Biden And Richardson Cut Obama 2nd Choice Deal?