CNN.com users predict Kerry will pick N.C.
(CNN) -- More than two months after he halted his own presidential bid, Sen. John Edwards has been chosen by CNN.com users as the Democrats’ most likely vice presidential nominee.
A 15-day survey of 54,385 users indicated that
Edwards -- besting 31 contenders -- is the person whom
presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry
will most likely select to round out his presidential
Edwards defeated Wesley Clark, a retired four-star general
and another 2004 Democratic presidential primary contender,
62 percent to 38 percent in the contest's fifth and final
round. (View full game card)
"Sen. Edwards is doing everything he can to elect Sen. Kerry and will continue to do so," said Kim Rubey, an Edwards' spokesperson, in response to the Veepstakes' results.
While he is not seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate, Edwards has been traveling the country -- including recent visits to Cleveland, Ohio, and Duluth, Minnesota -- to boost fellow Democrats.
Many of these trips, said Rubey, have been taken at the request of Kerry's campaign. But, while stumping hard for his Senate colleague, Edwards has consistently refused to discuss his possible interest in the vice presidency.
The North Carolina native surged in early 2004 to
become Kerry's chief Democratic rival late in the primary
season. Kerry cinched the party's presidential nomination only
after Edwards ended his campaign after the March 2 "Super
The CNN.com contest, dubbed "Veepstakes," began May 3 just
after midnight and ended late on May 17. Thirty-two
candidates, selected by CNN political experts, were split into
four brackets: Southern, women's, "showdown state" and
Edwards cruised through the first round, trouncing Rep. Jim
Clyburn of South Carolina with 95 percent of the vote, before
likewise leveling Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, 90 percent to 10
The freshman senator continued his winning ways in "Round
3," decisively defeating Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia with 87
percent support to sweep the "Southern" division.
This led to a showdown with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
-- a former congressman, U.S. ambassador to the United
Nations, energy secretary and the victor in the "Showdown
State" bracket. Despite Richardson's impressive resume,
Edwards won easily by garnering nearly three-quarters of the
Clark, meanwhile, emerged from the "gravitas" division --
an eclectic mix of present and former politicians who merited
consideration because of their experience, charisma and
background -- to challenge Edwards in the finals.
The one-time NATO supreme commander began the Veepstakes
campaign by trumping fellow Arkansas native and former
President Bill Clinton. He then bested top seed Rep. Dick
Gephardt, with 61 percent of the vote. Clark beat Sen. John
McCain, a maverick Republican from Arizona, by a similar
margin to win his bracket and reach the semifinals.
There, he met Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who
took the women's category. The ex-general easily defeated the
former first lady, who only mustered 31 percent support,
setting up the final matchup with Edwards.
CNN.com's Veepstakes contest holds special significance
with Kerry, who topped all other competitors in the 2000
survey of then-Democratic nominee Al Gore's most likely
running mates. But, while Kerry made the short list of vice
presidential picks, Gore chose Sen. Joe Lieberman of
That same year, CNN.com Veepstakes players tabbed J.C.
Watts, then a U.S. representative from Oklahoma, over Colin
Powell as the man then-Republican presidential nominee George
W. Bush would most likely pick as his vice president. Bush
selected Dick Cheney before narrowly winning that year's
In 1996, CNN.com users -- in a game called "VPick" --
correctly predicted that Sen. Robert Dole would choose Sen.
Jack Kemp of New York to fill out the GOP presidential