John Edwards was upbeat after a strong debate performance Monday night, but couldn’t shake media questions about his chances for the nomination.

“I’m going to be fighting and working my heart out,” Edwards told reporters this monring. “I am in this for the long term.”

Edwards noted the back and forth between Clinton and Obama was an evident minus for each candidate last night. “”I represent the grown-up wing of the Democratic Party … I just have to be heard.”

With markets plummeting today, Edwards called on action in Washington for a stimulus package that supports average Americans. He introduced his stimulus plan back in December, noting it would provide $1.5 billion to South Carolina.

“We can’t let another month go by without progress,” he says.

The problem for Edwards is that, much like Bill Richardson, he can advocate for change, but he’s got at least 12 months before he can instigate change.