MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) – Former Sen. John Edwards painted himself as the candidate of the voiceless Tuesday night after tracking a distant third in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.
Noting that there are "two states down, 48 states to go" in primary and caucus voting, the 2004 vice presidential nominee said that only about 1 percent of Americans had voted so far and that the other "99 percent deserve to be heard."
"We have had too much of voices not being heard," he said to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters. " ... That's what this battle is about. It's not about me. It's about the cause of giving voice to all those whose voices are not being heard in this democracy."
Edwards pledged to continue his fight to expand healthcare coverage, to fight global warming, protect the environment, end poverty and create new jobs.
"We know what needs to be done," he said. "The only question is whether we have the backbone and the will and the determination to get there."
"I am in this race to the convention, where I intend to be the nominee of my party," he said. "And I am in this race until we have actually restored the American dream and strengthened and restored the middle class of America."
Edwards narrowly beat Sen. Hillary Clinton for second place in the Iowa caucuses last week, but CNN projected Edwards to finish third in New Hampshire, while the race for first between Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama was too close to call. CNN made the projection with 10 percent of precincts counted, basing it on reported results, exit polls and other statistical models.
With 65 percent of the Granite State's precincts counted, Edwards had 17 percent of the vote to Clinton's 39 percent and Obama's 36 percent.
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