Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards took his third-place New Hampshire finish in stride on Tuesday, pledging to carry his battle forward despite difficult odds. “I am in this race until the convention,” he told supporters.
The former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic vice presidential contender finished second in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses last week.
“Two races down, 48 states left to go,” Edwards said.
Edwards offered his congratulations to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the primary winner, and Sen. Barack Obama, who came in second.
Still, said Edwards, “I intend to be the nominee of my party.”
“Up until now, about half of 1 percent of Americans have voted. Ninety-nine percent plus have not voted. And those 99 percent deserve to have their voices heard because we have had too much in America of people’s voices not being heard,” Edwards said.
His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, who spoke before Edwards, said, “This day, we have taken steps. Not as big steps as we wanted. But ones of which we’re enormously proud.”
“You never get anything if you don’t work for it,” she said.
Edwards campaigned long and hard in the state in the days before Tuesday’s primary, up one side of New Hampshire and down the other, including a 36-hour stint over the weekend.
“I do think it’s likely that as we go forward that all of us, particularly Senator Obama, will be looked at very carefully by voters,” he said in an interview earlier Tuesday with The Associated Press.
In 2004, Edwards went on to win the South Carolina primary.
But he faces tougher odds in this year’s Jan. 26 contest in South Carolina, where he is trailing both Obama and Clinton in polls.