Edwards' Withdrawal Ignites Online Activists

MoveOn.org is polling members for a possible Clinton or Obama endorsement. 

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards' Jan. 30 withdrawal from the 2008 Democratic presidential race has prompted the liberal online grassroots organization MoveOn.org to consider endorsing either Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama before the Feb. 5 primaries.

MoveOn.org over the last year has been randomly polling year its 3.2 million members about which candidate they support. No candidate has been able to hit the two-thirds majority threshold to trigger a MoveOn.org endorsement.

"For months, MoveOn.org members were divided among many candidates-and many of us were waiting to see who would take bold progressive positions on the issues," MoveOn.org said in a Jan. 31 newsletter to members. "But with Edwards dropping out, it's down to just two major candidates."

The group surveyed 200,000 members Jan. 30 to determine if MoveOn.org should proceed to an endorsement process. According to MoveOn.org, a "big majority" of those surveyed said yes. "Right now, we have an opportunity to influence who our next president is," MoveOn.org said in the newsletter.

MoveOn.org is currently conducting a vote of its members for their choice of an endorsement with voting closing at 11 a.m. EST Feb. 1. If either Clinton or Obama hits the two-thirds threshold, MoveOn.org will throw its support behind the candidate.

"If we can agree on a candidate by tomorrow, our endorsement will give that candidate a significant boost going into Super Tuesday, just a few days away," MoveOn.org said. "In addition to mobilizing MoveOn.org members to vote, our endorsement would mean that we campaign actively, as a unified movement, to elect a candidate who will represent us."