John Edwards today claimed the first non-student newspaper endorsement in Iowa, where the Jan. 3 caucuses could make or break his presidential campaign.
Valley News Today is a small paper based in Shenandoah in southwest Iowa, but could be a barometer of the former North Carolina senator's support in rural areas. The paper typically doesn't issue endorsements for the caucuses, the Edwards campaign said.
The endorsement says Edwards' rural roots -- he grew up in small mill towns in rural North and South Carolina -- means he knows about the "daily trials and tribulations of the working poor." It also says he has "by far the most specific, most progressive, and most far-reaching ideas to improve our nation."
"Unlike his Democratic challengers, Edwards' support doesn't come from a single demographic, but rather from all demographics," the endorsement says. "Simply put, he represents the best of what this country has to offer. If given the opportunity, we believe the former senator from North Carolina will work tirelessly to fight for the little guy as he has done for the past 30 years."
Edwards is in a close third place in the polls, behind Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York. The candidates will be focusing next week on Iowa, where they will debate on Thursday.