Posted June 27, 2003 5:59 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Senator John Edwards continues to lag in the polls, compared to other Democratic presidential hopefuls. Recent polls show he's tied for 4th with 7-percent support. Rick Armstrong shows us the hurdles Edwards has to jump to keep his Presidential hopes alive, and his Senate seat in Democratic hands.
Thad Beyle\2 ; :22-:27 #Political Science Professor, UNC
#Ed Turlington\2 ; :31-:36 #Chair, Edwards for President
Earlier this months.. . Senator John Edwards took a break from Presidential campaigning in states that have early primaries. He came back home to Raleigh to woo democratic voters! ""WELL WE'RE GOING TO GIVE THE PRESIDENT A VALUES DEBATE.""
But polls show Edwards is a distant fourth among 9 Democrat presidential hopefuls. Some say he may be feeling the pressure to fight harder for his current seat in the Senate.
Beyle: ""I'M SURE THERE'S SOME DISCUSSION ABOUT 'SHOULD I KEEP GOING THE WAY I AM?' OR 'SHOULD I PULL BACK AND GO FOR THE SENATE.""
Ed Turlington: ""OF COURSE WHAT REALLY MATTERS IS WHERE HE IS NEXT JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH.""
Campaign chair Ed Turlington believes Edwards Presidential numbers will improve as he becomes better known throughout the country. Meanwhile Republican Congressman Richard Burr of Winston Salem is actively campaigning for Edward's Senate seat. Something Edward's possible democrat successor is NOT doing.
""HE'S ALWAYS SAID THAT HE WILL MAKE A DECISION AT A TIME THAT MAXIMIZES THE CHANCE FOR A DEMOCRAT TO BE IN THAT SEAT IN 2005... WHETHER OR NOT IT'S HIM OR WHETHER IT'S SOMEBODY ELSE.""
That SOMEBODY may have to be a candidate who already has name recognition from recent campaigns.. ..such as Erskine Bowles or Dan Blue. ""BUT THEY WANT TO KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TOO... SO THEY CAN REALLY MAKE A SERIOUS ATTEMPT AT IT.""
...a serious attempt to prevent Republican gains and avoid Democrat losses. Rick Armstrong, WRAL News, Raleigh
Edwards is battling history on two fronts: First.. not since John Kennedy has a Senator won a race for President. Secondly.. since Sam Ervin retired in 1975, no incumbent North Carolina Senator in that seat has won re-election.