In the Edwards campaign's scenario, neither Clinton nor Obama will have enough delegates to win the nomination outright at this summer's Democratic National Convention.
That will leave an opening for Edwards to appeal to Democratic delegates. Although some analysts speculate otherwise, the candidate insists he is not trying to play broker or force other candidates to hew to his views. He says he has not given up on the ultimate prize -- the presidency.
Veteran Democratic consultant Bill Carrick said Tuesday that it's "hard to imagine" Edwards passing Obama and Clinton to win the nomination. But, Carrick said, conclusions are difficult to draw because there is no recent precedent for this year's seesaw battle.
The ability to raise money on the Internet can help sustain campaigns that might have stalled in the past, and Edwards' campaign reported bringing in more than $3.2 million since the start of the year, money that it plans to use to place ads in 10 states.
"I strongly believe no one gives up a presidential campaign; they just run out of money," said Carrick, who helped run Rep. Richard A. Gephardt's 1988 presidential campaign.
Because delegates can be won in each congressional district without winning an entire state, Carrick said, Edwards has a chance to "have some real influence on the convention."
The pundits keep on dismissing John Edwards on the Democratic side and Mike Huckabee on the Republican side, but there is no reason (other than to make these self-styled experts feel good) to drop out of the race. In the past, when the race was winnowed down to two, there was no possible scenario through which the second ranked candidate was going to emerge the winner, but with three candidates remaining viable in each party (and Ron Paul continuing to make mischief on the Republican side), there is no certainty to the outcome of the 2008 presidential campaigns.