Surprising his rivals, Ex-Sen. John Edwards today said his presidential campaign will accept federal matching funds and the corresponding spending limitations that come with them.

Edwards had previously planned to opt out of the system, which would have allowed him to raise and spend freely after he secured the Democratic nomination ... if he secured the Democratic nomination.

The decision suggests that Edwards's fundraising did not meet the campaign's expectations, which provided for a $45M budget through the primary season.

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