[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/01/art.edwards0130.ap.jpg caption= "John Edwards ended his White House run this week."] (CNN) - Sources close to John Edwards tell CNN he will not endorse either of his former presidential rivals before Super Tuesday. "That's just not something he's going to do," said one source.
The former North Carolina senator’s endorsement would be a coveted prize. His exit from the race leaves unions, editorial boards, elected officials and voters who had backed his run suddenly up for grabs. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are aggressively courting all of those groups ahead of next week’s crucial Super Tuesday contests in 22 states.
During last night's CNN debate, both candidates repeatedly acknowledged the former candidate's efforts to make the fight against poverty a priority for the Democratic Party.
Friday, the Obama campaign boasted that it was ahead in the race to nab former Edwards supporters, pointing to new endorsements from elected officials in at least eight Super Tuesday states, editorial boards like the Fresno Bee, and labor heavyweights like the Transportation Workers Union and the California branch of the Service Employees International Union, all of whom had previously backed Edwards.
(updated with new reporting 2 p.m. Saturday)
–CNN’s Jessica Yellin, Candy Crowley and Suzanne Malveaux