January 21st, 2008
06:02 PM ET

If Edwards drops out, who benefits?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/21/art.edwards.ap.jpg caption=" Democratic presidential hopeful former Sen. John Edwards, waves to the crowd before a Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

By his own admission, John Edwards says he got his "butt kicked" in the Nevada caucuses, where he received only 4% of the vote.

Nonetheless, Edwards insists he's in the race "for the long-term" and will continue to fight for the things he cares about. In fact, he's now saying that he's the only Democrat who can successfully take on Republican John McCain.

But, now the former North Carolina senator heads into the South Carolina primary, where polls show him trailing far behind Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The New York Times reports that even Edwards' closest advisers acknowledge he no longer expects to come in higher than third place. Edwards was born in South Carolina… this could be embarrassing.

But whether Edwards stays in the race, or gets out of it, he could affect the outcome. Some experts suggest that by staying in, Edwards might influence the result at the convention. They say even without taking first place in primary states, he could still wind up with "hundreds of delegates". And if the race is a tight one, those delegates could play a big role.

Other strategists say Edwards has another good reason to stay in it, at least in South Carolina, where he could end up sharing the white vote with Clinton - thus helping Obama win.

Here’s my question to you: Who would benefit most if John Edwards dropped out of the race, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Carolyn from Land O’ Lakes, Florida writes:

At my house, Obama will benefit. Former President Clinton's selfish Lewinsky escapade gave us eight years of Bush. Now it appears the Clintons' divisive me-first tricks are set to destroy Obama and the Democrats’ chances for November.

Jamal writes:
I think that Obama benefits if Edwards drops out, because both Edwards and Obama represent change, while Clinton represents the status quo. If Edwards continues, the people who want the much-needed change are split between two worthy candidates, and the status quo wins.

Jim from Prosperity, S.C. writes:
Jack, Neither! The Republicans will benefit if John Edwards drops out. Democrats will be left with two choices, a woman and a black man, neither of whom is electable in November after the reality of their candidacy sets in.

Kerry writes:
There are two types of Democrats at the moment: those who love Hillary and those who hate Hillary. The haters are left with two options: Edwards and Obama. If Edwards dropped out, I think clearly Obama would benefit the most.

Patty from Louisville, Kentucky writes:
Jack, The only people who will benefit if John Edwards drops out of this race are the lobbyists and entrenched interests who have a stranglehold on Washington D.C. If we want to eliminate the two Americas, we need a fighter like John Edwards. Stay in the race, John!

Judy writes:
Hillary, of course. Why anyone would vote for her over Obama is beyond me. But, she definitely has a following and she would probably pick up those votes.

Doreen writes:
I hope it’s Obama, but the real beneficiary would be the moderators of the debates. They wouldn't have as many politicians who don't understand the meaning of the "lights".

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • John Edwards
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Stan

    Edwards shouldn't drop out. If one or both of the other two goof up, he'd be in a pretty good position. Mostly though, he should stay in and play "king-maker" (or should that be queen?) at the convention. Whoever Edwards throw his support behind will be the next Democratic nominee. That said, I still think Edwards to be the most capable and electable candidate in the race.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  2. Nathan Alvarado

    If there is any justice in the world, Dennis Kucinich (who is still in the race, by the way) would benefit if Edwards drops out. Maybe then Kucinich would be included in the televised debates and political discussions on the airwaves which are currently lacking any real progressive thoughts and ideas.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  3. Trinell

    I beleive if Edwards drop out Obama will gain the majority of votes from this. If it was just Edwards and Obama it may be a different story in the race for the White House. I think most people who would vote for Edwards would rather see a man in the White House than a women.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  4. Tina

    Both but I would be sick. I feel that with his lawyer's experience he could come close to booting the lobbyists out of town but as we all know nothing will change. All candiates stand up and lie through their teeth only to get elected and the first person they see is some big lobbyists with their pockets over flowing wanting this or that done. People want change but are scared to change their ways and until this happens we are still stuck with the same old story, just second verse.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  5. Scott

    Damn Jack , that's a hard one, Hillery, dah!
    bowling green,mo.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  6. pamela

    I don't know who would benefit by Edwards dropping out but I do know who would be the big loser, We citizens. I believe Edwards is the candidate responsible for getting most of the truth out and holding Obama and Clinton accountable to those of us who want lobbyists gone, nationalized, single payer healthcare, affordable education and livable wages for workers. I wish the media weren't so afraid of Edwards and would cover him more. Why are you making it a two horse race? So many of us out here are fed up with the media as well as our current government and those who support the status quo.
    Pamela Kimball

    January 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  7. Ryan Farrar

    Who benefits?... The Republicans!

    January 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  8. Jim Jensen

    A more pertinent question might be, "If Edwards drops out who looses?". Edwards has a lot to offer and I find it disappointing that the media [ and certainly CNN ] has chosen to parade Barak Obama and, to a lesser extent, Hillary Clinton and ignore John Edwards. I suppose that his demise from the political scene would probably help Clinton more than Obama because Edwards seems to actually define what he stands for and doesn't just chant "Hope" and "Change" as an undifferentiated mantra. Both Edward and Clinton seem to be more experienced and intelligent in their approach to what needs to be done by the next President and, thus, are probably more alike.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  9. Josh

    I think Hillary Clinton would benefit the most from Edwards dropping out. Right now , we need an good, experienced leader to save this country from the destructive policies of George W. Bush. With the rest of world hating us and the economy in the tank. Hillary will save this country and make things for the better.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  10. Beth from Michigan

    The candidate who would benefit most would be the one who could convince Edwards to be his or her Vice President. Besides, the Vice Presidency would give Edwards more time to spend with his wife.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  11. josta

    I think John Edwards will do very well in South Carolina, with the media focusing on race so much and how it will impact Clinton or Obama, everybody will vote Edwards to prove that they are fed up with the media's focus on race, instead of the isseu's, thus so polarizing the elections.after a john edwards win, he is back in the race.

    January 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  12. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, Barack Obama would benefit the most if Edwards dropped out! Although there differences between them,they are more aligned philosophically then with Hillary!

    January 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  13. Erik

    The fact that their is a three faction system in the Democratic Party is the only thing holding it together. If Edwards drops, i don't think it will help either Clinton or Obama. There will probably be an even split- and some might lean toward McCain or becoming independent. When there is just the two "rock stars" the Democratic Party will weaken itself, and have mini civil war. If Edwards drops the Democratic Party will be severely weakened in the General Election.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  14. Sharon

    If Edwards drops out, he will most likely endorse Obama, so Obama should benefit the most. However, based on the demographics of Edwards' supporters, some may decide to support Clinton (lower income, blue collar, etc.).

    As with most things in life, as much as we may try, we can't always predict what will happen. Many assumed Obama and Edwards were splitting the anyone but Clinton vote, but the results in Nevada call that assumption into question, along with the whole change versus status quo theme. Considering the current state of the economy, voters may be looking for a candidate with a strong economic message. Some of Edwards supporters may feel Clinton, by her association with her husband's presidency, would do a better job meeting their economic needs.

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see (although I do believe Edwards' Nevada showing put to rest the idea of him playing Kingmaker).

    January 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  15. Carlos

    The American people, especially Demoscrats at this time, would benefit if John Edwards dropped out of the race. It would give the voters an opportunity to choose between two worthwhile candidates and make the outcome (Votes) perfectly clear. At this time we don't know, and will never know, if Edward's 4% in Nevada would have gone to Barak or Hilary along with the accompanying delegates. John ran well, but unfortunatesly now he is muddying the waters and creating unnecessary obfuscation.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  16. JoAnn in Iowa

    I think Barack Obama benefits if Edwards drops out. They are splitting the anti-Clinton vote. There are a lot of people out here who think the division and drama of the Clinton years needs to end. Bill was a pretty good president, but no one gets a third term. Obama is our best hope to move beyond the past and bring this great country back together.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  17. Ralph

    Jack, if Edwards drops out, I would think it's a horse race. Now, it looks like the workers will gravitate to Obama. At the same time, Edwards may endorse Clinton as Kerry, with whom he ran in 2004 but who endorsed Obama and not his former running mate. The race gets so frustrating that voters for Edwards may choose a Republican such as Giuliani, or may go Independent. I'm getting so tired of this back-and-forth that I would like to see a fresh face, be it Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  18. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    The voters will benefit the most.Edwards is the Democratic version of Romney, all image and posture but little substance,no beef in his candidacy.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  19. Kati

    As a white, female, college student I hope it helps Obama. Hillary and Bill are on the biggest power trip of their lives and it is repulsive. Edwards and Obama speak from the gut, with class and are trying to maintain a positive tone during this race. In this race, for all her "experience" (plus Bill's) Hillary has yet to demonstrate that "the arch of the universe does not bend towards" her ego.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  20. Terry

    If John Edwards drops out, hopefully he will support Obama. Overall I believe the republicans will benefit. As long as he doesnt support Billary, that thought scares me to death.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  21. Will K

    You either love Hillary or you hate her.

    If someone has chosen Edwards they've already said no to Hillary once, and are unlikely to change their mind. Obama will benefit.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  22. Fred

    If Edward drops out of the race both candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will benefit, but Hillary Clinton will benefit most, because she will have one less candidate in the race that will open the American people's eyes to the fact that Hillary is from the Corporate USA, and for the Corporate USA and that's how she got to where she is.

    You can tell by the dirty tricks that she and her husband pull in her campaign. She needs her husband, who by the way was at the verge of impeachment during his presidency, to run her campaign, how can she run the country by herself? With the help of women who change their vote because she fakes an emotional moment, or illegal Hispanics, who will do anything to get permit to work in USA? Give me a break...

    January 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  23. Pat

    I think Barack Obama would benefit if Edwards dropped out, since in my opinion voters who were voting for him would most likely vote for Obama. This would especially be true if he were to drop out and endorse Obama. It is obvious to me that Hillary can not fight her own battle and it seems that she increasingly needs her husband to do some of dirty work. Are we then electing two presidents?? As a woman, I am terribly disappointed by this unfair battle. So I would be very glad if senator Edwards were to drop off and endorse senator Obama

    January 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  24. Pete, Fla.

    If Edwards were to drop out, much of his white supporters would obviously flock to Hillary Clinton. White southerners, especially the men, still tend to have the roots of racism living beneath them, so choosing the "black man", no matter what his ideas are, would be atypical.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  25. Eugene

    Jack, Edwards knows he's already lost but he needs to accumulate delegates, for the convention. He wants the job, of V.P. or Attorney General, in Hillary's administration, so he'll attempt, to become a Queen maker, at the convention, by giving Hillery his delegates.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  26. Tom Bulger

    Certainly not America. John's problem is he is the right man at the wrong time. If the 2000 election went to whom the people elected instead of to whom the Court appointed, Edwards would have eventually become a great president.

    Now Bush has America so despised in the world that our best shot at convincing them that we are turning the page on business as usual is to elect not another middle age white guy, but someone who right on the face of things is a change.

    Hillary can't even wrest control of her own campaign. There is no way she could change Washington. All voters looking for change will go to Obama if Edwards drops out.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  27. Dorothy

    We the people will lose if Edwards drops out. We need a champion who will continue to campaign against corporate lobbyists. Which candidate will be willing to carry the torch Edwards has lite to do away with corporate lobbyists and thereby hand the government back to the people? Whichever candidate that is – they have my vote..

    January 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  28. Jenny from New York

    I think Hillary would benefit if Edwards dropped out since he seems to be splitting the White vote with her (thanks to the Clinton camp bringing race into this), but if he stayed in it to the end, his delegates would most likely go to Obama since their positions are most similar. For that reason I hope he stays in 'til the end.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  29. Joel New Brighton MN

    I think Obama would benefit the most. I'm thinking change and the Clintons had their shot. What is up with Bill. Is he telling stories? Obama's people are trying to strong-arm voter's? I don't think so! And Bill you better stop inhaling.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  30. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    For Edwards to drop out of the race would be a disaster for the Democratic Party and neither Hillary or Obama would benefit. Edwards is the balance of powers in the democratic party and will destablize the votes.

    January 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  31. Doreen

    I hope its Obama, but the real benificiary would be the moderators of the debates. They wouldn't have as many politicians who don't understand the meaning of the "lights".

    January 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  32. Jack K.

    Only the Republicans.

    Those fiscal conservative democrats and the independents will become swing voters for the GOP's most centrist candidate. Even Guliani promises to bring more spending restraint and control over government growth than Obama or Clinton.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  33. D Moore

    Obama wins on this one. Edwards will not support Hillary and that will only tighten the race. But the media has already chosen Hillary, so it doesn’t matter anyway. Why, because Hillary will cause the most sparks, while Obama (like Kerry) may get swiftboated into oblivion too early on and the media will have to work too hard creating sensationalism where there is none.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  34. Texan for Real Change

    I would hope Barack Obama would receive Edwards endorsement if he does drop out.

    It would be very interesting to see how the "double teaming" back stabbing Clintons would handle an endorsement from the Edwards camp.

    I would like to see Bill Richardson and John Edwards both endorse Obama. I agree with many points they make. Lots of respect for Bill Richardson and the campaign he ran.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  35. mehdi

    Those of us who know Edwards know that he would be the perfect president. Only sad part is that this country is never going to allow that to happen. The funny thing is that this country might let Romny become president than Edwards...which is sad. Anyway, person who benefits the most is the person who is supported by Edwards. Personally, I like the idea of Obama/Edwards for 2008, what a pair that will make...Middle East be aware...here comes educated people who care!

    January 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  36. Matthew - Toronto

    John Edwards is an excellent candidate but his campaign has not been able to get any traction among the Democrats. If he decides to quit, Obama will definite benefit because their both share the same principles of hope for the future. It's about time the Democrats see the light about Hillary's personal ambition. It about time Bill Clinton stop his lies and deception. Bill Clinton is a jerk, shameless and has lost his mind.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  37. Kevin

    Barrack would benefit but problably not enough to ward off the Clintons. The Billary Clinton tag team gets much more press, many more jabs and then respins the effects and hides behind a truce. It is easy to see through these allegations and misrepresentations until the press highlights just enought soundbite to rekindle and fan the flames.
    Edwards is not a threat and helps keep the others on message,while Bill makes his hits when the referre isn't looking.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  38. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I am leaning towards voting for John Edwards. If the was to drop out of the race, I would vote for Obama. I hope that answers your question?

    January 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  39. John

    The Americian Pople would benefit.

    Edwards is starting to look like Ralph Nader. We need a Democratic Candidate that the majority of the people who voted in the primaries (or caucuses) would support.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  40. David A. Morse, Stoneham, MA


    When John Edwards quits the race, Obama gains the most. No Question!

    January 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  41. Roohi


    Personally, I believe John Edwards is the only candidate with the proper credentials to become president of our country. If, however, he does drop out of the race, it would be beneficial to Hillary, who would be my second choice, after Edwards. Him dropping out would potentially cause the majority of the White voters that were potentially going to vote for him, to change their vote for Hillary instead. Anyone who is an Edwards fan should realize that Senator Obama, who is very educated nonetheless, does not have the experience and credentials to run the United States, at least not at this time. He is a junior senator who needs a few more years of experience before he can truly qualify. Thanks.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  42. Ann


    I think, and hope that if John Edwards were to drop out of the race, it would benefit Barack Obama. If John Edwards then endorsed Barack Obama, it will help get him the southern vote. Here in the south, there is a very strong anti-Clinton message. Barack Obama needs Edward's support. If not, the Democrats can kiss the general election goodbye.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  43. LCB

    What happens in the voting booth stays in the voting booth. Who benefits...we will hopefully know in 2009!

    January 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  44. Thomas, FL

    If he drops out, successful people with some well-earned wealth benefit the most. His class envy platform is disgusting.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  45. annie

    I would hate to see Edwards drop out. He's saying a lot of things that make sense, but isn't getting the message across because the other two are turning this into a blood sport. Bush has destroyed the Republican party, and now Obama and Clinton are doing the same for the Democrats. Meanwhile, what about us?

    January 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  46. Call me Gigi

    When are you and the media going to stop trying to push John Edwards out of this race? He says he is in it to the end . . . and I, for one, believe him. If you would give him the FREE coverage that you give Obama and Clinton, you might just see a real turnaround in this race. So, who would benefit IF he withdrew . . . NOBODY!!!! 'cause he "ain't gonna" to do it!!!!
    He beat Clinton in Iowa but somehow you people thought that you should count 1, 3 and who was that other guy in the race. I used to love to watch CNN, but I am getting to the point that I would rather get my news from the internet.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  47. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    We do, and he should take the rest of Dems with him, they are not doing the will of the people. NO amnesty for the illegals here, they should have to apply the same as everybody else, including the ones legally waiting their turn outside of this country. To allow anything but the legal path others have taken, is another opening that got us this mess in the first place.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  48. Walter


    You wouldn't know this but his barber would really miss the $400 bucks!

    January 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  49. Ron

    Hillary first, Obama second, America third.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  50. Greg from PA

    Edwards' supporters are passionately loyal to him. If he throws his endorsement behind Obama, they will help him be the next President. If Edwards endorses Clinton, she will walk away with it. If Edwards endorses neither, Ralph Nader will enter the race and hand the Presidency over to the Republicans.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  51. Ted in Portland

    I could only hope that if Edwards drops out, his supportrs will see that the next ONLY road to change is via Obama. The Hillary and Bill syndicate will change nothing. HIllary would be a third term Bush as far as approach to governing, bearing, countenance and arrogance. She is solidly attached to a courtship with special interest groups and Lobbyists. That is the core truth of her "35 years of experience" She knows all too well she must place her allegiance in where the money comes from. While Bush calls himself the Decider, She could easily be called the Divider.

    Now, how do we get rid of the fixation the DNC has on rigging elections via the use of "Super Delegates" It's legalized voter fraud.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  52. jdeb

    Denis Kusinich... lets face it, the media has forgoten that Edwards supporters do not like the Hillary or Obama ticket. They will look anywhere else to put their support. If Hillary gets any help, it will be if Obama messes up. The African American vote would go to Hillary, everyone else will be moving to Canada.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  53. Dennis

    Edwards should drop out and give his money to the Clintons. Hillary for two terms with Barak at VP then Barak to terms with Bill VP. Obama needs training wheels. Either which way Romney's fortune will help him advertize the most so the Demo's better come up with a strategey to deal with that.

    January 21, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  54. Kathy H

    The fact is NOBODY benefits really if John Edwards drops out. He is the voice of most American's right now, just not getting the air time for the public to listen! Other than that, if John is gone, my vote goes to Hillary! Barack is too inexperienced and needs time to develop his sense of governing before he should be elected so I would hope Edwards would hold off on endorsing Obama.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  55. earl illingsworth

    John Edwards shouldn't drop out (my personal opinion), but the harsh reality is his message hasn't resonated. So yes, he should drop out, and throw all his support to Obama, who would benifit the most. Their messages mirror each others with small philosophical differences ,both calling for CHANGE. John and Obama are very aware of the constructive roadblocks that lie ahead in congress. Sadly with John gone ,Obama message can be heard more clearly and resolutly. It's for the good of the country, and for the sake of diversity! Sorry So Sorry, but the writings on the wall... Good-Bye John.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  56. brian

    I think Barak is pretty much beaten. When Edwards drops out it's not going to matter or benefit Obama. Barak has all of these racial issues that are being leveled on him. Theres such an intense focus on the color of his skin and the marginalizing of him as the "african" candidate. So if John drops out it won't matter. The deck is pretty much stacked against Obama

    January 21, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  57. silver18

    Does John Edwards have any supporters anyway? Those that are still supporting him at this late date, will probably support whoever he endorses. If he doesn't endorse anyone, they will probably stand complacently and let the wave of change wash around them, rather than take part.

    Sterling, Florida

    January 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  58. Brian

    It depends on how hard Hillary cries.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  59. naturo

    I hope that Barack would benefit. I shutter @ the thought of the not dynamic duo leading this country. They are both power hungry whores that will do and say anything to get the title "Leader of the Free World." The only leaders they are of is white collar crime. Just think about it if Bill I can't keep my fidelity Clinton lied once he will lie again-repeatedly. They are power hungry antisocials whom once they feel enough acceptance they will blantantly do as they like. Kind of like GWB.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  60. Dan Hickey

    Edwards out, who benefits? Obama. Edwards has made it clear Obama is his buddy in recent debates. Who loses in the process? Edwards, as he has cut his own throat with great relish, ending any possibility of being seriously considered for a position of power or trust in a Clinton Administration, and take my word, it will be a Clinton Administration. Obama will be offered but will not accept a major position, as he will be focused on the presidency after Hillary's eight years.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  61. Aleesa

    Who's John Edwards?

    January 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  62. Jim

    If Edwards plan is to split the white vote so Obama wins, how do you spell "backroom deal for vice president??"

    January 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  63. Filipino monkey

    Hillary Clinton.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  64. Ed Chapman

    A lot of people would benefit if Edwards, Clinton and Obama all dropped out! Edwards, a lawyer who got rich chasing ambulances, Clinton who as First Lady was involved in too many shady dealings to list in this email, and Obama, whose inexperience, and his numerous "present" votes while a member of the Illinois Legislature all tell me one thing! None of them belong in the White House! The current crop of Republicans running are not high on my list either!

    Ed Chapman Woodbridge, Va.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  65. John from CT

    If John Edwards dropped out I think that would benefit Obama. ( And that benefit would reward John as Obama's running mate). But if he drops out what is the excuse this time from keeping Kucinich from debating?

    January 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  66. Don

    Edwards dropping out would likely be coupled with his support of either Obama or Hillary.

    Edwards is more qualified to be Attorney General than VP and is probably more acceptable to either Hillary or Obama in that position.

    I suspect that Edwards will wait to see who is pulling ahead and then throw his support in that direction.

    So the real question is to whom will Edwards throw his support.

    Edwards is not going to bow out and go back to suing doctors for a living.

    He would like to get the VP slot on the winning ticket but he would settle for Attorney General.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  67. W B in Las Vegas

    it definately benefits Barack Obama

    my wife and I caucused for Edwards last Saturday in Nevada and when he didn't get the required 15% "viability" to get delegates, almost all of his supporters switched to Obama.

    Edwards people want TRUE CHANGE in politics and DON'T TRUST Hillary to deliver on her "change" promise any more than she was able to deliver on universal healthcare when Bill was President in the early 90's.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  68. Jennifer

    Clearly it would benefit the republicans and Clinton – in that order.....by the way, shouldn't Edwards have to give the public funds that he wasted back?

    January 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  69. Tim Brown, NV

    If the Democratic frontrunner's haven't massacred themselves in the mud shucking Edwards could get a lot outta whoever he chooses to endorse

    January 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  70. marilyn hook

    If Edwards has the money, he should stay for the whole race...
    He does not like Hilary, and Obana, sorry folks, he does not have
    the experience. It takes several years to gain the knowledge of
    Washington...No man is going to go in there and do what he wants
    with out the help of the Senate and Congress....If it is McCain and
    Obana in November...McCain will whip his butt because McCain has
    the knowledge behind him....
    I prefer Edwards then anyone....but I will vote for Hillary...
    I know that does not make sense...but that is the way it is !!!!


    January 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  71. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Definitely not the beleagured and forgotten American union worker!

    January 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  72. koolkat1939

    Neither would benefit. Edwards has his own following and Hillary & Obama copy everything he says.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  73. kathy

    No one wins if Edwards drops out of the race. His support would probably equally divide between the two frontrunners but the Democrats would lose as a whole as Edwards is the only candidate that tests well against all the GOP candidates. Hillary and Obama have usurped Edwards platform over the months when they saw how well it played to the masses and the media has to admit that they have forgotten him in their eagerness to report on the lovefest between Billary and Obama. I supported Edwards in 2004 and again in this election and I think he needs to stay in the race if as nothing more than a barameter against which to measure the remaining candidates, and who knows as he accumulates delegates he may hold the key to the convention candidate. Stay in the race John, to show Bill and Hillary what a truly loving and respectful couple acts like!

    January 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  74. Christine from California

    Obama would benefit. He is closest ideologically to Edwards. John Edwards has the most compelling message and best plans for health care, the economy and Iraq. Unfortunately, Obama is a unique, charismatic candidate who stole Edwards thunder.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  75. Jeff in Connecticut

    I honestly hope he never drops out and gets back to addressing more issues nobody else covers. He's good at it. That fairytale aside, I beleive Obama would benefit most. Most of us STILL don't trust Hillary.


    January 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  76. John

    Edwards is by far the most intelligent, cool-headed candidate the Democrats have. He would be an incredible President. That means he will not make it thru the primaries because the stupid electorate in the USA always vote for morons (Nixon twice, Dubya twice, etc) I do hope Edwards continues to accumulate delegates all the way to the Convention and uses them to get a few of his own ideas into the final platform and influence the outcome in that way. He might have enough delegates to bear a good influence in a tight race.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  77. Brian, Tampa Bay

    I'm not so sure any of us Floridians think any of Democrats should benefit, although I still want to know more of what each canidate intends to do if they get in Office. Who's to say right now who would benefit, maybe the Republicans.
    I've never been a Democrat or a Republican, I have always been and always will be an Independent and will always look for the best possible canidate regardless of party.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  78. bnthdntht

    I was supporting Edwards for one reason he had the least amount of negatives of any democrat against the republicans. Now it seems he doesn't have a chance to win so he should get out. If he gets out it will help Clinton who can run a strong campaign against the strongest republican candidate McCain.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  79. Lewis

    Does it matter, I thought that the fight was over who gets the front page?

    January 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  80. Earle Mauldin

    When Edwards drops out, the American people will benefit.

    His campaign is aimed directly at people who consider themselves victims and want somebody else to pay. I'd bet if you went back to his childhood that's what you'd find. That's the way he's made his millions, presenting himself as a champion of victims, for a 30% cut of the settlement.

    His campaign is toast. In the end, he's just an egomaniacal ambulance chaser. Always has been, always will be.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  81. James

    I say neither of them. People support Edwards because they don't like or agree with the other two democrats. If Edwards drops out I wouldn't be suprised to see an Independant candidate or possibly a republican gain the support.

    January 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  82. harry kollie

    when John Edwards drops out i think Obama will benefits

    January 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  83. marcus


    January 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  84. Brian

    How about reporting some real news i live in Florida and just got done watching a beautiful Obama commercial and he said he is not running adds here he just got caught

    January 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  85. Evan Penfield NY

    Being a young man I feel it is my place to speak for my sick, twisted generation in saying that we totally dig Edwards and Obama. All of the support that us unstable young people are giving to Edwards could and probably would float on over to Obama were Edwards to drop out. Then again, you can't rely on us to take out the trash, let alone decide the fate of the nation with our priceless votes.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  86. Jim

    Jack, Neither! The Republicans will be the beneficiary if John Edwards drops out. Democrats will be left with two choices, a woman and a black man, neither of which is electable in November after the reality of their candidacy sets in. May God help us as there is no alternative to another 4 years of dispicable, rich man biased Republican policies! Our nation cannot survive another Republican politician in the Whitehouse following Bush.

    Prosperity SC

    P.S. My wife says CNN should bring Zain home immediately before she gets hurt in Kenya.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  87. Bruce Ross River Forest, IL

    There are several reasons why Obama would benefit if Edwards drops out. The primary reason is that the two, Edwards and Obama agree on policy much more than Edwards and Clinton. The second reason is that Edwards doesn't like Clinton. He'll push his followers to Obama. The Hill and Billy show is too much for Edwards and he is serious about cleaning up Washington... Obama is his obvious choice.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  88. Bob

    Jack, who benefits? Why, Chuck Norris of course!

    January 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  89. Stephanie

    Americans benefit.

    He is a big H1B Visa pusher.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  90. Tom Vogel

    Clearly it would benefit Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama; which is why I pray Edwards stays in the race.
    -Tom Vogel
    Las Vegas, NV

    January 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  91. sherri

    Hilary! because that is who I would vote for if John would drop out. I hope that doesn't happen!

    January 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  92. brough


    January 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  93. Anneliese

    Senator Edwards should stay in the race but if he drops out, it won't help either Clinton or Obama. As an Edwards supporter, I'd begin rooting for a third party candidate to enter the race because while I wouldn't want to vote for any of the Republicans, Clobama wouldn't get my vote even if hell froze over!

    January 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  94. bob from dover delaware home of the Military Morgue

    Here’s my question to you: Who would benefit most if John Edwards dropped out of the race, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?

    I think America loses everyone knows Hillary is running to be the first female and barack is running to be the first black president but john edwards was running to try to restore quality of life for the working class something america hasn't seen since the steel mills started shutting down... Its unfortunate that some people can't see past race and gender and vote outside their own demographic even when it means we all end up with a better life in the end.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  95. Jamal

    I think that Obama benefits if Edwards drops out, because both Edwards and Obama represent change, while Clinton represents the status quo. If Edwards continues, the people who want the much-needed change are split between two worthy candidates, and the status quo wins.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  96. Jonathan

    I think Obama will benefit because he has some of the same issues that Obama has. I also think if he drops out of the race, he'll endorse Obama to team up against Hillary.

    Jon, IL

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  97. Alex

    If Edwards drops out (And he will have to, unless he pulls a strong second in Iowa,) his support will go straight to Obama. John and Barack have been tag-teaming each other with the "change" mantra at the debates. So Edwards will back Obama, however, I doubt he's vice president material. I think Obama would probably chose somebody like Joe Biden, to compensate for the "lack of experience" argument.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  98. Tom in NB

    The winner will be the person who picks up Edwards as their running mate.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  99. William

    If Mr. Edwards dropped out of the race who would benefit most?
    I would hope the voters would have enough sense to cross the lines and give their vite to Mr. McCain.

    Columbia, SC

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  100. Will

    To answer your question, it would most likely help Obama, as those who are most informed and trying to stay away from political machines associate themselves away from Clinton. The fact that you are asking this question though just displays corporate media's ability to have self-fufilling prophecies. Don't want Edwards in the race? Simply don't report on him and what you do report on him – make it him dropping out.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  101. Some Guy

    If Edwards drops out, I will vote for Kucinich.

    Both Clinton and Obama are entirely worthless. I will NOT vote for either of them. Not in the primary, not in the general.

    I'm sick and tired of having to vote against candidates. If the Democrats can't give me someone worth voting FOR (and I'm sure the republicans won't), then I'll vote third party or not at all.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  102. Karrie

    I believe it would be a split, with a lean towards Obama. And the more Bill Clinton keeps it up, I think it wold eventually help Obama as well, once people remember that Hillary is the candidate. This is a perfect example of how she will lead if president, expecting other people to fight her battles, like her hubbie, the big bad ex president...

    I used to like Bill Clinton... not so much these days.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  103. Steve Winslow

    Obama would certainly benefit from Edwards dropping out of the race. Both Obama and Edwards share a positive message for the future of this country and appeal to similar voters. If Obama wins the nomination it woud be highly likely that Edwards would be his Vice-President.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  104. Rima

    HILLARY would benefit... Why, because you news spinners and the Obama campaign (yes the Obama Campaign) have turned this into a race fight. The white voters who would not normally have cared whether they vote white or black are now feeling infuriated that you are basically saying its okay to vote black if you are black, but racist to vote white if you are white.. NOT TRUE!!!!!!! You and the Obama campaign have soured white voters to feel its them against us. My former husband was black, and I am very open minded, but now you have drawn a nasty line in the sand or reverse racism and it makes me sick.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  105. Patty Morlan, Louisville, KY


    The only people who will benefit if John Edwards drops out of this race are the lobbyists and entrenched interests who have a stranglehold on Washington D.C. If we want to eliminate the two Americas we need a fighter like John Edwards. Stay in the race, John!

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  106. BlueDem666

    Without a doubt Barack Obama because a large part of Edward's base is made up of Anti-Hillary Democrats who would flok to Obama if he were to drop out.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  107. gigimn

    Most of the people I know supporting Edwards are divided on their second choices.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  108. Jordan

    Jack, neither Clinton nor Obama would benefit most, the Republicans would benefit the most. If you must look at the trees, and not the forest, then I think you'll find that it will benefit Hillary more as she is–as sad as it sounds–the next most progressive candidate.

    Now, if John Edwards were to drop out, who does it benefit the LEAST, Jack?

    Working Americans everywhere and America in general.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  109. Don Z

    His wife and children...bless them all.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  110. Elias


    I think the strategists are right about Edwards splitting the white vote in S.C.
    He should stick around until his third place finish there.
    Afterwards, he should drop out and throw his support behind Obama; who Edwards has said he likes. We all know he doesn't like Hillary. I mean, who does?

    Oh, right, New Hampshire and Nevada. Let's hope it stops there.

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  111. Olawale

    most likely Obama would benefit because he would probably make all his voters vote for obama

    January 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |