WASHINGTON – John Kerry (search) focused on a national campaign after a near sweep Tuesday night, while John Edwards (search) and Wesley Clark (search) looked to the South to build on newly built momentum.
The day after winning five states and strong showings in the other two, Kerry was to receive the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers (search), kick off television advertising in Virginia and Tennessee and campaign in states from Washington to Maine.
Looking forward to the Michigan and Washington elections this Saturday and the Maine race on Sunday, the Massachusetts senator was crisscrossing the nation, appearing in Maine on Thursday, Michigan on Friday and Saturday and attending the Virginia Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Saturday night. Virginia's primary is Feb. 10.
Kerry plans to buy ad time in Washington, D.C., to reach Democratic-heavy northern Virginia, aides said. It is an expensive market, in which it could be difficult for Clark and Edwards to compete.
On Tuesday, Kerry made his victory speech from Seattle, where he hoped to knock out Howard Dean (search), who has also been campaigning in Washington.
"When I was flying in here today and shared that extraordinary vista from the air that you see of your mountains, of the Columbia River, I remembered how, two centuries ago, on the shores of Washington, Lewis and Clark completed their epic journey westward and touched the waters of the Pacific for the first time. Their daring and their vision symbolized what was best in America," Kerry said.
"And now I ask all Democrats, all Americans to join now in the journey of our time all across this continent, all across our states, to define our character and recapture our own spirit. With faith in our ideals and in each other, we can return America to a road of greatness and of justice," he said.
Edwards' campaign is hoping that his win in South Carolina and strong showing in Oklahoma will give him a head of steam for the two Feb. 10 contests in Dixie — Virginia and Tennessee, which offer a total of 151 pledged delegates in primaries next week.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Edwards will stump in Memphis, Tenn., and Norfolk, Va. He will take time out to do a top 10 list on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS.
"We won South Carolina in a resounding fashion and won both the African-American and white vote in South Carolina, and we go from here to other states — Michigan, Virginia and Tennessee," Edwards said. "It's very easy to lay out the map to get us to the nomination."
Tennessee and Virginia are the next "targets of opportunity," Edwards campaign manager Ed Turlington said. New TV ads are going to go on the air in both states on Wednesday, campaign officials said.
Edwards will continue to try to attract a rural, Southern constituency both in the South and in the West. Continued success in these regions would bolster the credibility of his campaign's argument that Kerry is not a viable candidate throughout the nation.
Edwards has always presented himself as the candidate who can win everywhere, a slap at New Englanders Kerry and Dean. However, he ranked a close third in Delaware and fourth in North Dakota and New Mexico — three states in Tuesday's election outside the traditional South.
Turlington said the campaign is beefing up its "infrastructure" in Wisconsin, which has a Feb. 17 primary, as well as in New York and Ohio, which go to the polls on March 2, Super Tuesday.
Wisconsin is "a place where his message resonates well," said Turlington. "John proved in Iowa that he can compete in other parts of the country."
Earlier Tuesday, Edwards said, "It's not a matter of catching up. We have a long nominating process."
Wesley Clark came into the Feb. 3 races after a disappointing third-place finish in New Hampshire, but managed to pull off a neck-and-neck race for first in Oklahoma with Edwards.
An Arkansas native, Clark hoped his first win would boost his candidacy in the South. On Wednesday, he planned a bus trip in Tennessee from Memphis to Nashville for Wednesday, with whistle stops in Jackson, Camden and Clarksville.
Former front-runner Howard Dean was looking ahead to Saturday's contests in Washington and Michigan before the polls even closed on Tuesday. He had acknowledged it would be hard to compete in the Southern and Southwestern states slated for Tuesday. Instead, Dean stumped in Washington on Tuesday and husbanded his resources for Wisconsin's Feb. 17 primary.
Roy Neel, Dean's new campaign manager, downplayed the importance of Tuesday's contests. "After tonight's election results come in, only 10 percent of the delegates for the Democratic nomination will be chosen. The voices of millions of Americans in states like Wisconsin, Washington, California, New York and Florida have yet to be heard."
Despite not winning any of the first nine states, Neel vowed Dean's campaign was not drawing to a close.
"This campaign will continue to fight for ordinary Americans who want to end the influence of special interests and restore respect for this public interest. It's way too early for a coronation of the candidate who has taken in more special interest money than any other candidate."
The former Vermont governor ran out of cash and momentum after finishing third in Iowa and a distant second in New Hampshire. He ran no TV ads in the seven states and intended to stay off the air for a spate of other contests until Feb. 17, when Wisconsin votes.
Joe Lieberman's (search) intense campaigning in Delaware was not enough to capture that small prize, as he finished a distant second. As a result, Lieberman decided to end his candidacy.
"I know that the results are disappointing tonight. For me it is now time to make a difficult but realistic decision. I have decided tonight to end my quest for the president of the United States of America," Lieberman told supporters in Arlington, Va.
Fox News' Carl Cameron, Major Garrett, Ellen Uchimiya and The Associated Press contributed to this report.