Edwards started courting Dean followers, thanking the former Vermont governor for his message and calling him a powerful voice for change. Despite the invitation, local Dean supporters are not ready to back another candidate just yet.
Dean supporters said it is a time to ponder their place in the election. Volunteer Blaise Strenn said Dean supporters are not up for grabs just yet.
"The movement continues. We're not dead yet, we're going to affect this change," he said. "We are not going to jump ship just yet, this is a movement so we aren't just going to switch to another candidate."
Before moving to Raleigh, Stephanie Carter was Howard Dean's press secretary when he was governor. She said for Dean supporters, it is more about the movement than the man.
"This is very different. This is deep and true support of a movement and that's not going to disappear," she said.
The reality is it is now a two-man race for the Democratic party nomination.
Peace College professor Dave McClenon said while Dean's absence is good for both Edwards and Kerry, at this point, Edwards has more to gain.
"Edwards can go directly after Kerry on trade and job security and not have to worry about where Dean falls into the mix," he said.
Despite bowing out, Dean will be on the ballot for the North Carolina Democratic Party caucuses on April 17.
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