Senator Edwards told a crowd of supporters (Wednesday) in his home state of North Carolina that he is 'suspending' his presidential quest.
He spoke less than 24 hours after a string of resounding primary defeats to the presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.
In his speech, Senator Edwards praised Mr. Kerry for showing strength and resiliency during the entire primary season. He pledged to work to help Mr. Kerry defeat President Bush in the November general election.
Senator Kerry carried nine of the 10 states that held delegate contests on Tuesday -- and won almost all of the other primaries and caucuses held so far this year.
His victories, and the end of Mr. Edwards' campaign, have essentially secured the nomination for the Massachusetts Senator.
But Mr. Kerry is still mathematically shy of the 2162 delegates needed to formally win the presidential nomination at this summer's Democratic National Convention.
Once nominated, Mr. Kerry will face President Bush in the November presidential election.
Some Democrats are pushing for Mr. Kerry to consider offering the Vice-Presidential spot to Senator Edwards on this year's Democratic ticket.