John Edwards

Democratic Nominee


It appears that John Edwards has built his campaign strategy with a Field of Dreams mindset: “If you build it, they will come.” Edwards has tried to do just that, having spent the three years since his unsuccessful 2004 vice-presidential campaign building his presence and organization in Iowa, with the hopes of voters coming to him in their respective caucuses in January. He and Barack Obama are seen as the most viable challengers to the juggernaut of Hillary Clinton, but the two may be splitting the support needed to overcome Clinton. Edwards has been hammering on a populist message of economic equality that mirrors that of his political role model, Robert Kennedy. If that message manifests itself in a caucus victory, then for his campaign, heaven may actually be Iowa.


Edwards rose to prominence as a trial attorney in Raleigh, NC, famous for winning a number of high-profile lawsuits. He and his family have endured a number of tragedies: his 16-year old son was killed in a car accident in 1996, and his wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Edwards was elected to the Senate in 1998, and was responsible for deposing several witnesses during the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial. Since the 2004 presidential campaign, he has been working as the director of UNC’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.