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Edwards Supporters Start to Swing to Obama

Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) shakes supporters' hands with former Democratic challenger John Edwards at a rally with supporters in the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan May 14, 2008. (Reuters)

By Shailagh Murray
Former Democratic candidate John Edwards has joined the Barack Obama bandwagon, but will his small band of delegates and superdelegates follow his lead?

At least six of the eight pledged delegates that Edwards won in South Carolina are expected to jump to the Illinois senator, according to CNN. And at least one of Edwards's four pledged delegates in New Hampshire has re-committed to the likely nominee. Edwards's four pledged delegates from the Iowa caucuses remain up for grabs.

One of those Iowa delegates, Machelle Crum of Newton, told the Quad City Times last night she had already been contacted by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign, although the law student said she was studying for an exam and couldn't focus on politics for the time being. "I'm going to get through the test and think about it after that," Crum told the paper.

When Edwards dropped out on Jan. 30, he had endorsements from 28 superdelegates, including Reps. Bob Etheridge (NC), Mike McIntyre (NC), Brad Miller (NC), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Charlie Gonzalez (TX), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Jim Oberstar (MN), David Obey (WI), David Price (NC), Heath Shuler (NC), Bart Stupak (MI), Mel Watt (NC), Michael Michaud (ME), and Bruce Braley (IA). The other 14 were Democratic National Committee members who had pledged as superdelegates to Edwards.

As of this afternoon, nine of the House members backing Edwards had switched allegiance to Obama: Reps. Miller, Herseth Sandlin, Gonzalez, Johnson, Oberstar, Obey, Price, Watt and Braley. Four of the pro-Edwards lawmakers -- Reps. Ethridge, McIntyre, Stupak and Michaud -- remain uncommitted. Shuler has not officially endorsed Clinton, but said he would vote for her as a superdelegate at the convention, because she had won his western North Carolina district.

Seven of Edwards' DNC superdelegates have shifted to Obama; two have switched to Clinton. Five remain uncommitted. So that leaves a total of 18 Edwards convention votes for both campaigns to phonebank until they break.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 15, 2008; 5:19 PM ET
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