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Inside Politics

Edwards predicts 'great victories'

Senator pleased with showing in New Hampshire primary

John Edwards waves as he arrives at his primary night celebration in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
John Edwards waves as he arrives at his primary night celebration in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

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CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reports that Sen. John Edwards is looking ahead to South Carolina, where he leads in most polls.
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Edwards says his campaign will continue to focus on a 'positive, uplifting vision of hope.'
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Edwards is encouraged by his showing in the New Hampshire primary.
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John Edwards
America Votes 2004
Presidential primaries

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) -- North Carolina Sen. John Edwards claimed a modest victory Tuesday in New Hampshire, where he picked up about 12 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.

Edwards told a crowd of supporters that he would push ahead to next week's primaries and caucuses.

"Look at what we've done. This momentum is extraordinary," he said. "And now, we're going to take this energy and momentum to great victories on February 3.

"But we're going to take not only this energy and this momentum, but we're going to take this message. This positive, uplifting vision of hope that has captivated Iowa, that has captivated New Hampshire and will captivate the rest of the country."

Before Iowa's caucuses last week, Edwards had polled poorly in the state. His unexpected second-place finish in Iowa revitalized his campaign.

Edwards jumped into his traditional stump speech, urging Americans to work for a nation that isn't divided by wealth.

"We have so much work to do," Edwards said. "We still live in a country where there are two different Americas. One for all those families that never have to worry about a thing, and then one for everyone else. It doesn't have to be that way."

Earlier, Edwards told CNN that he was pleased with his finish in New Hampshire.

"I think it's very encouraging," Edwards said. "I think it's remarkable what happened over the last two weeks. It's been an amazing momentum that we had."

He described his showing as "third place or a tie for third."

With 97 percent of the votes counted, Edwards and retired Gen. Wesley Clark each had 12 percent of the vote, with Clark leading by fewer than 1,000 votes.

The race now turns toward states where Edwards believes he can more easily compete, including South Carolina, where he was born, and Oklahoma, where he has spent a lot of time.

He planned to leave for South Carolina late Tuesday to prepare for what he said is a must-win primary next week.

But Edwards said he's not discounting the six other states -- Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, Delaware, Oklahoma and North Dakota.

"I feel very encouraged going into the next stage," he said. "This process is going to go a while. We've been preparing for this for a year."

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