Edwards supporters stay confident

January 26, 2008 2:49:16 PM PST
The South Carolina Primary is a critical race for each of the leading candidates.

Saturday's democratic primary is the first in which race could play a pivotal role. Fifty percent of the democratic voters in the state are black.

ABC11's Fred Shropshire has been following the John Edwards campaign throughout the day.

When Edwards stepped down from his caravan Saturday morning, supporters yelled in approval of the S.C. native.

The number of supporters was rivaled by the number of journalists the former North Carolina senator claims have ignored his campaign.

When asked if Edwards feels like he's getting enough media attention, he replied, "Well it doesn't feel that way right now. Does it? It'd be hard for me to complain today, wouldn't it?"

It is probably the most attention he's gotten in days. It was a wild scene as he met voters outside and inside a precinct in Columbia.

"I believe John speaks the truth, puts his money where his mouth is and will work for the middle class and for the poor as he always has," supporter Nan Bozarth said.

Bozarth traveled from Wilmington, N.C. to see Edwards, citing a number of issues that makes the former senator an attractive choice.

"His universal health care plan, the economy," Bozarth said. "My goodness! Look at the economy."

Willie Branick, Jr. supported South Carolina's native son in 2004, but this year is putting his support behind Barack Obama.

"I was born here," Branick said. "You're doing the same thing you did four years ago, and four years ago that got you the win, but if that's the only thing that you have, you need to come with more."

Most polls show Obama with a double digit lead over Hillary Clinton and Edwards in a distant third place.

Despite dismal expectations, Edwards' advisors say he's gained momentum, albeit minimal from his performance in Monday's debate.

He's also reportedly outspent Obama and Clinton in TV ads in South Carolina. He continues to campaign relentlessly -- even early Saturday morning in Charleston.

His staunchest supporters believe their guy still has a chance.


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