Edwards, Post-Iowa

John Edwards didn’t win Iowa but he’s sticking in the race. He is a long-shot to win the nomination, but here is the scenario he’s probably eyeing:

First, he will hang back in New Hampshire over the next week, campaigning but keeping expectations low, and settling for a showing well off the front-runners’ pace. He will need Barack Obama to win New Hampshire (so don’t expect Edwards to go after the Illinois Senator) and he will need Hillary Clinton to lose decisively. Then, Hillary would then be a dominant national front-runner who is deemed the clear loser of the first two states. Her support could melt away rapidly. In that situation, Edwards stands as the alternative to Obama. He makes an “electability” argument and hopes the party gets nervous about nominating Obama in time for South Carolina and in the February 5 mega-primary.