Only Clinton and Obama remain as Edwards steps down.
Obama is gaining momentum on the Democratic side of the race.
We have lost John Edwards — the major anti-corporation, anti-lobbists, focus-on-poverty campaigner. Sadly, Edwards didn't have a chance (he was a bit too populist for my tastes anyways). It remains thus unclear where Edwards' support goes. In recent debates he sided more with Hillary Clinton, but since his supporters tend to be more left-leaning, it makes sense that a large number of them would go to Obama.
Mr. Edwards, after running as the sunny son of a mill worker in 2004, returned last year as the angry spear carrier of the hard-line left, running on a dark, conspiratorial form of populism and swapping in corporations for Republicans as the villain in his us-versus-them construct. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, has not just been selling possibilities and opportunities, but reconciliation and unity -- and, god forbid, promising to work with Republicans to meet the country's challenges. (Not surprisingly, throughout 2007, Mr. Edwards was the runaway favorite in the regular Kos reader straw poll -- besting Mr. Obama by 21 points as late as Jan. 2, 2008.)
The issue of race in the 2008 campaign has reached its peak with everyone from the news media to the candidates themselves endlessly blabbing about it — especially on the side of the Democrats. It has gotten ridiculous — nobody's focusing on racial issues; the larger focus has been on whether Bill Clinton was the 'first black president' (to answer that, one needs only to look at his skin color; the debate just enforces racial stereotypes and the color divide). Since we're on Bill Clinton, there has also been ample media speculation about the role he has played in his wife's campaign. Yes he was an above-par president, but will he meddle in his wife's affairs and further polarize the base?
Obama has been racking up endorsements, like his fellow up-and-comer on the other side of the aisle, John McCain, notably from most of the Kennedy family. He was also ranked the most liberal senator by the nonpartisan National Journal (which isn't saying much considering the conservatism in American politics). This could be used against him in ridiculous ways like in the case of the right smearing John Kerry in 2004.