Howard Wolfson, Clinton's former communications director, says if Edwards' now-admitted extra-marital affair had been known earlier this year, the former North Carolina senator would have been forced out of the race and his absence from the Iowa Democratic caucuses would have allowed Clinton, the senator from New York, to defeat Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., ABC News reported Monday.
"I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee," Wolfson told the network.
As it happened, Clinton finished third in the Iowa caucusing, close behind Edwards, while Obama won, gaining a momentum that set the pace for the rest of the primaries.
ABC noted Edwards had denied a story in the National Enquirer about the alleged extramarital affair last October. He admitted to the affair last week, but that earlier denial "certainly had an impact on the election," Wolfson said.