MEMO from John Edwards for President

January 28, 2008

Chapel Hill Press Office
919 636 3203


To:                  Interested Parties
From:              Edwards for President Campaign
Date:               January 28, 2008
Re:                   Path to the nomination

As we move into a campaign focused on the 22 February 5th states, our target demographics are:
    ü      Voters fed-up with the broken system in Washington
    ü      Voters who believe the middle class has been neglected by politicians in Washington
    ü      Voters who have had enough of the personal and destructive attacks between our two rivals


Numerous polls in the Palmetto state recently had Edwards roughly 30 points behind Clinton.  But because of a strong debate performance and nonstop, personal and often bitter attacks between our rivals, Edwards proved this is a three way race.  He dramatically narrowed the gap – and exceeded expectations.  With two debates scheduled between now and February 5th, we expect John Edwards to continue to climb as he proudly represents the grown-up wing of the Democratic Party.


We enter the February 5th phase of the campaign on solid financial footing. The campaign has enjoyed an online fundraising boom – over $3.2 million raised online since the first of the year – most of which will be doubled by federal matching funds. This represents an 81% increase over December in total number of contributions: 44,007 contributions were made during this period, compared with 24,240 from December 1 to December 31. These 44,007 contributions came from 35,351 donors compared to 20,243 in December.  This is a 74% increase in contributing donors from December to January. We have seen an increase of 104% over the number of first-time givers in December (10,049). The pool of our support is widening – we’ve seen a 155% increase in new additions to our list compared to growth in December. 

Most importantly, we are seeing longtime online supporters make first-time contributions.  We've also seen lower average contributions, by as much as $25 less than a typical daily average – but offset by higher volume. Our supporters are seeing this race everywhere now – and they're looking for ways to contribute.


The Democratic nomination for President will not be decided until any one candidate has amassed 51 percent of the delegates – which is no easy task for any candidate when there are three strong, viable candidates in the race.  Since delegates are awarded proportionately, John Edwards has already accumulated delegates and is in a strong position to accumulate many more delegates on February 5th.

Following the first four contests, the fight for delegates remains close between the three leading candidates – but the vast majority have not been awarded:

              Delegates won in IA, NH, NV & SC:
Obama:                                                                    63
Clinton:                                                                    48
Edwards:                                                                 26
Magic Number to Capture the Nomination:          2025
Total Number of Delegates:                                 4049

As the table above shows, this race is far from decided -- and will be a long process for each of the three leading candidates.   While some political reporters might wince at the prospect of having to cover three candidates for an extended period of time, this is very good news for voters.  Over the coming weeks and months, voters across the country will have their say.  While no one can accurately predict the outcome, one thing is certain: the American people will decide the nomination, not the media.

Bill Clinton didn't win a primary or caucus until Georgia. He didn't clinch the nomination until he defeated Jerry Brown in New York in April.  This race will go to the candidate that can compete widely and over the long haul. We will be broadly competitive, accumulating groups of delegates across the February 5th states. Ultimately, we expect the race to narrow to one of the two celebrity candidates and us -- and when that happens, we are confident that the remaining contests will break in our direction as voters are finally offered the choice the national media has ignored all year -- the most progressive, most electable candidate in the race, John Edwards.

Because this fight to the nomination is boiling down to the earning of delegates, the campaign has assembled a team of staff and advisors to manage delegate tracking through the convention.


Born to working class parents and raised in small, rural towns across the South, John Edwards will appeal to all hard-working families in the February 5th states because he understands the values and struggles these voters face. We believe he will be competitive in all 22 states holding primaries next Tuesday and have staff, advisors, and support from labor covering all 22 states.  Experienced political, press, advance and field staff are already on the ground in February 5th states to grow and mobilize our support.  We are waging aggressive campaigns building on the political foundation and support already established through the branches of One Corps (the grassroots organizing arm of the campaign), online mobilization, and earned media with in-state surrogates.  This work has been underway for over a year.

In addition, in the next 48 hours, the campaign will launch aggressive media buys starting in 10 states and likely expanding in the days leading up to February 5th.  These will be significant media buys that will have a real impact on the race, particularly because voters in these states have not yet had broad exposure to John Edwards’ message.  As we saw in South Carolina, once people have a chance to hear directly from John Edwards, the numbers move.

We will be broadly competitive, earning delegates from across the February 5th states and onto the subsequent contests in Louisiana, Virginia, and Maryland. We expect that when voters in the these states are finally offered the choice the national media has ignored all year – the most progressive, most electable candidate in the race, John Edwards – we will prevail.

The bottom line: John Edwards is the underdog against two celebrity candidates who have each raised over $100 million, yet he enjoys broad support – and is in position to win delegates -- across the country.

Some examples:

*Alabama: Edwards has strong grassroots support in Alabama with more than 20 One Corps chapters across the state and the support of 35,000 union members from across the state.
*California: Edwards has been to California numerous times throughout the past few years, including an event in Los Angeles on January 17th where he was greeted by more than 1,000 supporters. Among his other visits to California, Edwards has stood with workers on the picket line and in their workplace, spoken to college students, spoken at the California Democratic Convention and held a grassroots fundraiser. Edwards also has the support of more than 760,000 union members across California, including the support of California’s single largest union, the California SEIU State Council.

*Idaho:  The John Edwards Campaign has the support of a significant, statewide network of One Corps leaders as well as endorsements representing 2,500 union members across the state.  Edwards has also been endorsed by former Idaho Democratic Party Chair Bill Mauk.  Edwards’ leadership on the issue of revitalizing rural America, standing up for working families, and his record as the only candidate to have won an election in a solidly “red” state puts him in a strong position in the state.

*Georgia: Edwards has campaigned in Georgia many times throughout the past few years, including Atlanta on January 19th and Sunday in Dublin – where he called on voters to join him to take our country back from powerful entrenched interests. Edwards has the support of dozens of elected officials and party leaders from across the state, including former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes and former Georgia Lt. Governor Mark Taylor, Georgia Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown, Georgia House Democratic Leader Dubose Porter former U.S. Rep. Ed Jenkins and former U.S. Rep. Ben "Cooter" Jones.
*Massachusetts: Edwards has strong support throughout the state, including nearly 100,000 union members, hundreds of One Corps Members throughout the state, as well as the endorsement of Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.  Due to the New Hampshire Primary, the Edwards campaign has already had an extensive presence in the Boston media market with both paid and free media.

*Minnesota: Edwards has the support of dozens of Democratic elected officials and party leaders from every region of the state including U.S. Representative Jim Oberstar, Chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, State House Majority Leader Tony Sertich and Former MN State Senator Ted Mondale.
*Missouri: Edwards was the first candidate to campaign in Missouri this year – rallying over 1,000 supporters in St. Louis on January 19th for an event as part his Coast to Coast tour. Edwards has also campaigned for the successful ballot initiative to raise Missouri’s minimum wage in 2006, helping lift up thousands of working Americans. Edwards has won the support of dozens of Democratic elected officials and party leaders from every region of the state including former Missouri Lt. Governor Joe Maxwell, Missouri State Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Frank Barnitz, Missouri House Democratic Whip Connie Johnson, and Missouri State Senator Wes Shoemyer. Edwards was also recently endorsed by former Missouri House Speaker Jim Kreider and runs even with Obama in the most recent Missouri polling.

*New Mexico:  Edwards has the endorsement of former New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid and a network of about 100 One Corps leaders from across the state.  In addition, Edwards has the support of 4,000 union members from across New Mexico

*North Dakota: In the past two years, Edwards has visited North Dakota to meet with labor and rural community leaders, and campaign for local Democratic officials. Edwards has strong grassroots support in the state, including the support of more than 2,500 union members across North Dakota, which is an important bloc of support given that 10,500 people voted in the North Dakota’s Democratic Caucus in 2004. Edwards has also won the support of dozens of Democratic elected officials and party leaders from every region of the state including Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, State Senate Democratic Leader David O'Connell, and State House Democratic Leader Merle Boucher.  Edwards also enjoys the support of a majority of Democrats in both the House and Senate in North Dakota.

*Oklahoma: In two polls conducted by different organizations, Edwards beats Obama in Oklahoma, with 47 delegates at stake. Edwards became the first Democratic presidential candidate to travel to Oklahoma this year when he visited Oklahoma City on January 15th and then again on January 18th to rally supporters and talk about his bold plans for change. Senator Edwards has won the endorsement of dozens of Oklahoma state legislators, including the highest-ranking Democrats in the Oklahoma State House and Senate - Oklahoma Senate President Pro-Tem Mike Morgan and Oklahoma House Democratic Leader Danny Morgan. He also enjoys the support of more than 13,000 union families in Oklahoma, including the endorsement of the largest labor union in state, the Transport Workers Union. Senator Edwards did well in 2004 in Oklahoma and we expect another strong showing on February 5th.

*Tennessee: John Edwards is holding events today in Chattanooga and Nashville. Among his many activities in Tennessee, Edwards announced his plan to revitalize rural America in Tennessee and met with Vanderbilt employees seeking to join the Laborers union.  Edwards visited Memphis this summer during his “Road to One America” tour to draw attention to the issue of poverty in America. Senator Edwards has strong grassroots support in Tennessee with more than 40 One Corps chapters across the state and the support of 18,000 union members from across the state.