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Edwards to quit race

Sen. John Edwards addresses supporters.
Sen. John Edwards addresses supporters.

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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Unable to make a breakthrough on Super Tuesday, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina has decided to end his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, CNN has learned.

Multiple campaign sources confirmed to CNN that Edwards will drop out Wednesday at a late afternoon news conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A source in the John Kerry campaign said the two men spoke on the phone Tuesday evening, as returns began to roll in across the 10 Super Tuesday states.

In an address to supporters in Atlanta, Georgia, Tuesday night, Edwards did not mention ending his campaign, but he spoke glowingly of Kerry.

Edwards said, "He's run a strong, powerful campaign. He's been an extraordinary advocate for causes that all of us believe in -- more jobs, better health care, a cleaner environment, a safer world."

His remarks were received by cheers from the Atlanta crowd.

Edwards was locked in a close race in the lone southern state of Georgia in Tuesday's contests, which had been one of the senator's most competitive battlegrounds.

By late Tuesday, however, CNN projected Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts would win Georgia and Ohio, where Edwards was expected to do well.

CNN also projected Edwards losing Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts.

Before Tuesday, Kerry had won 18 of the first 20 nominating contests. Edwards won his native state of South Carolina February 3. Retired Gen. Wesley Clark won Oklahoma in a tight race with Edwards the same day.

Clark later abandoned the race and endorsed Kerry.

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