(CNN) – Barack Obama will formally capture the Democratic presidential nomination soon after next week's final primaries, the Illinois senator's top campaign aide is predicting.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said that after the June 3 primaries in South Dakota and Montana, Obama will "be at the number we need to claim the nomination."
"We're very close now," Axelrod said. "When the primaries end, I think, we'll be where we need to be. ... We'll be at the number we need to claim the nomination."
According to CNN's latest estimate, Obama is now 52 delegates short of clinching the Democratic nomination while Clinton is 246 delegates short of the magic number. There are 86 pledged delegates up for grabs in the remaining three contests. Just over 200 superdelegates also have not publicly declared who they are supporting.
Obama is unlikely to clinch the nomination with pledged delegates alone, but his campaign has said it expects enough superdelegates will declare their support of the Illinois senator soon after the final two primaries.
Axelrod's comments come two days after Bill Clinton suggested some are trying to “push and pressure and bully” superdelegates to make up their minds prematurely.
The former president also suggested Sunday that if the New York senator ended the primary season with an edge in the popular vote, it would be a significant development.
"If you vote for her and she does well in Montana and she does well in Puerto Rico, when this is over she will be ahead in the popular vote,” said Clinton.
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! Bill... you've fooled the American public once (oh, how I trusted you and defended you against all odds) but you've lost your chance, so it is time for you to stay quite and let your wife do her own talking. I thought she was a feminist but why is she not standing on her feet and defending her case instead of having you do the dirty talk for her? So much for feminism. If Hillary will define feminism then I guess I will have to go find another definition for who I am. I'd never run to my husband crying when things don't go right for me. I'd look at myself, my failures, my short comings before I blame anyone else. This is what feminism is that is to stand up on your own even against yourself for the purposes of self-evaluation. This woman is anything but feminist, really.
Too bad...the day he becomes the nominee, the day Hillary concedes (which I hope she doesn't), as a lifelong democrat – I will leave the party.
I will vote for McCain.
I can't stand Obama and would never vote for him.
Obama will provide leadership to the economic problems we have now, and give tax payers solid relief from the bog corporations who don't care about the American public and only care about their profits, golden parachutes, big bonuses. the remaining 200 super delgates will join and support him when South Dakota puts him over the top.
The decision about seating the MI and FL delegates will be made before the final primaries......and they will be seated according to the actual votes if the outcome is fair. This will increase the number of delegates to be reached to clinch the nomination. What does Axelrod know that we don't know? Is the strongarming of the superdelegates working?
Recently Obama has been condescending in praising Hillary " for breaking the barriers for women". This man has got to be really out of touch! The women are just fine, thank you very much. It is the testosterone bunch that are making, changing and controlling the rules of the game that is suspect. Obama 's mouth is working hard to get Hillary's supporters to come to his side, but he must be brain-dead to believe this.
It won't happen! Hillary has been dissed so badly, WE THE WOMEN who support her will be watching her back all the way to the convention, if necessary.
Hey Obama is half white/half black. He could have came out white on the outside. Would that make a difference to some of these voters?
Let's not fight each other. Instead, lets rally together and support the winner of the nomination.
If Obama wins the nomination, he will need the support of all democratic americans even the HRC supporters.
Let's not put McCan't, McBush, or whatever you want to call him in the White House in November.
DEMS in 08
I don't care... you could nominate a toaster for the democratic ticket and I'd vote for it. We need an end to the Bush-Rove-Republican dictatorship! Vote Obama, Clinton, or Toaster... just don't vote McCain.
As much as I wanted Hillary to be nominated – I support Obama 110% and am very happy for him – he deserves it.
Obama has abided by the rules and run an impressive campaign, contrast that with the shambles and debt riddled Clinton team. Their scorched earth strategy and bizarre accusations, such as Bill's "cover up" charge are distasteful to say the least.
For those that say "Take it all the way to the convention!"...Do you realize that if that happens, then the Democrats will only have 2-3 months to campaign? You are idiots for saying things like that.
Register as a Republican or......sit down and be quiet.
Obama cannot and will not win. If it can't be Hilary. GO MCCAIN!!!!
Hillary Clinton has soiled the process and made the Democratic party look like Keystone Cops.
It is time for her to admit defeat and rally around the nominee. No she cannot be VP because she has stated that Senator Obama is not fit to be the President and if that were true how could she now serve in his administration?
John McCain is the easiest Republican in history to defeat. He has embraced the failed policies of the Bush administration and he is incapable of seeing that America is NOT in good shape at the moment.
Don't let the fear mongers and racists fool you, Americans will ALWAYS vote for their economic interests first and John McCain has no answers when it comes to stopping this economic free fall that we are currently in.
I think this should go all the way to the convention! This is what a democratic convention is to pick our leaders. Make the popular vote count and stop all this I have more than you fighting!
DO OUR VOTES COUNT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I DONT KNOW ANY DELEGATES AND THEY DONT SPEAK MY FEELINGS!
GO ALL THE WAY HILLARY!
Obama is the only hope people in the world can count on. The high oil price (resulting gas sky rocketing), food shortage, tremendous increase in crime and terror everywhere in the world, creating fear within people of different faiths, what else… they are adding up every day, somebody has to stop this madness.
God bless and help you Obama to succeed on November election and save the world from this gangs that they have taken over white house for last eight years and the other gang that trying to squeeze themselves by hook or crook into Whitehouse
Okay, I am from Michigan. And as a michigander let me say that the votes should not be counted as they were cast. I think everyone is forgetting that Barack Obama's name was not on the ballot so those who wanted to vote for him could not. Is it not suppressing the voice of the people to have had only one of the viable candidates on the ballot. If they wish to do it fairly thy should do a revote but they should not cast these votes as is.
All i can say is i hope there is another choice when the pres. election comes. McCain or Obama/Clinton will run this country in the ground. Americans need to get back to their christian roots and take a stand.
woohoo go Obama!
People keep blaming the division within the Democratic party on the Clintons. I dont really, I think the blame should be directed at both: (1) The Superdelegates – for still not coming out for Obama even after it is clear he will be the nominee, and (2) Hillary's supporters – for not realizing that this election is bigger than them, or Hillary, or anyone else! What even bothers me more, is the women supporting Hillary, cause they see her as a victim or an underdog, or because they 'think' theyre feminists. Hillary was never the underdog, Hillary was never the victim, and feminism is based on strength and grace, not playing the im a victim please help me Bill (a male, i tihnk, ask Monica). Wake up!!!
The reason will so many superdelegates are on the side is out of respect for Bill and Hillary. Those undeclared superdelegates understand that the Clinton could devastate the Democratic Party by fighting till the convention.
Hillary's argument of winning Puerto Rico (which doesn't vote in the general election) has no weight. Hillary will claim the popular vote totals as part of her argument. The only voting contests left that matter are Montana and South Dakota, in which Obama leads in the polling.
Without a doubt if Obama wins both Montana and South Dakota on June 3rd, undeclared superdelegates will jump to Obama at rate of 20 to 30 per day to push him over the finish line to clinch the Democratic nominaton by June 6th!
Obama in 2008!
If Clinton thinks she can still win, is it possible that her logic has something to do with her reference to Robert Kennedy?
It's funny how Clinton supporters continue to ignore the fact that she has been trying to change the rules along the way (rules that she and Obama both agreed to at the beginning). What kind of message does this convey to America? It says that she will continue to blame everyone else for her failed campaign instead of herself.
Hillary Clinton will get less votes, if she ever again campaigns for the presidency. A big show was made by lots of Democrats of supporting her, when in fact they could barely tolerate her. It's been like the fairy tale about The Emperor Who Had No Clothes – influential people claimed to support something they privately didn't. Once this position was challenged, it fell to ashes. True feelings about Hillary will show, when this election is over. The Democratic Party will look for a different woman leader, hopefully someone much better.
Go ahead count those chickens before they hatch. No Hillary then McCain '08
"gus May 27th, 2008 10:21 am ET
Unfortunately, Obama can't win against McCain. Obama has very few qualifications."
I think it's a toss-up. You're right, Obama has little experience. But it was the experienced people (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.) that got us into this mess in the first place.
You see, Cheney and Rumsfeld were experienced in Cold-War politics, which didn't apply to terrorism. So Nobody has much experience with terrorism – not even John McCain.
Next, add the fact that 80% of the American public want this war to end. McCain is going to have a tough time to convince 30% of those people to change their minds. I think Obama has a real chance because of this.
Lastly, if his lack of experience was such a big issue, Hillary should have creamed him. Instead, he beat her. Go figure!
I heard a rumor that the superdelegates all want to be the final one that seals it for Obama expect a rush in the next couple of days