Charlotte (NC) Observer: Edwards was "heavily outspent by his top rivals... Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York are each expected to have spent more than $20 million in Iowa. Reports suggest Edwards could end up spending less than $15 million."
Money aside ... [a] candidate who comes out on top -- or even provides the biggest surprise -- gets headlines and magazine covers across the country. All that "free media" can supplement a lot of paid advertising.
John Edwards went into the Iowa caucuses last night a fighter and he emerges from them as scrappy as ever. In other words, don't assume, because he lost to Barack Obama, that Edwards is down for the count. After all, as his campaign advisers are quick to point out, by finishing second Edwards's David can claim victory over at least one Goliath.
"The person hurt in all this is Hillary Clinton," Joe Trippi, an Edwards senior advisor, told TIME minutes after his candidate claimed the silver medal in Des Moines. "The former president of the United States flew all around this state and so did she. They outspent us three-to-one at least. And we beat her."
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In Iowa he was limited to spending $1.5 million, though he benefited from spending by supportive unions and privately funded outside groups that ran television commercials on his behalf. "I have to be honest, I didn't think with a turn out of more than 200,000 that we'd be where we are in this thing," Trippi said. "We only had 42,000 hard count [i.e., committed voters], so to go from 42,000 to 65,000 or 70,000 — the message had to have been so strong that people got up out of their homes and went to a caucus without the campaign getting them there. Now the campaign that everyone thought was going to happen to or knew that was going to happen to was the Obama campaign, but it turns out that there were two of those campaigns." To be sure, Trippi was spinning the best-possible story for his andidate. But it is certainly true that a large turnout was expected, by many observers, to do more damage to Edwards' chances than to Clinton's.
JournalNow, Winston-Salem, NC: "If you would have told me a year ago that John Edwards would beat Hillary Clinton despite being outspent 3- or 4-to-1, I would have been very pleased," said Ed Turlington in a phone interview from Des Moines. Turlington, a Raleigh attorney, was the national chairman of Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign and is advising the campaign this year.
Even as Edwards was speaking last night, member states of the Service Employees International Union that have endorsed Edwards were sending out a press release claiming victory out of second place and laying out their strategy to work for him in the upcoming contests. And you can be sure the same outside groups that helped Edwards in Iowa will appear in New Hampshire. Still, the tidal wave that Edwards' spoke of, at least for tonight, is not his own. It will take another tidal wave for Edwards to wrest the mantle of change — and a victory — from Obama.
Edwards: closing the Iowa races with class, according to TIME.