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Celebrity endorsement watch

We won’t have any results from the Iowa caucuses until Monday, but here are the early returns in the race for support from celebrities:

…Dick Gephardt has wrapped up the schmaltz vote.

Gephardt on Thursday announced that he had secured the crucial support of singer Michael Bolton, author of “All the Way” and “When I Fall in Love.” As part of a questionably named “Rockin’ to Victory” tour, Bolton agreed to join Gephardt in two events on Saturday. Gephardt already boasts the support of Barry Manilow and Tony Bennett. (Fortunately, a plug from Chevy Chase lightens the mood a bit.)

But if Gephardt has the sentimental endorsements, John Kerry has the ’70s crowd: James Taylor, Carole King, Kathleen Turner and Bette Midler. Might be something in that puffy Kerry hairdo.

Clark easily has the most eclectic list of celebrities: from angry man Michael Moore to sensitive man Alan Alda to material girl Madonna. Characters from the defunct “Seinfeld” TV show, meantime, have split: Jerry Seinfeld likes Kerry, Larry David is for John Edwards, and Jerry Stiller prefers Joe Lieberman. And Howard Dean long ago cornered liberal actors Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner, Michael Douglas and Paul Newman.

But, clearly, there is a limit to the value of such celebrity endorsements. Dennis Kucinich has one of the best lists — Willie Nelson, Alice Walker, Danny Glover and Bonnie Raitt, among others — but his candidacy remains a box-office bust.

As for Kucinich, after apparently struggling with himself on the matter, he announced: “I have come to the conclusion that we must support our troops.”

Update: As Dave Heasman noted in the comments box, Michael Bolton was not the author of “All the Way” and “When I Fall in Love.” The Post has published a correction (on the right side of the page).

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