(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.
Not so fast! Michigan and Florida need to be counted as voted for this to be a fair democratic primary contest.
Shame on the Obama campaign for calling for Hillary to quit for months now. In rushing to stop this race they forget the 'big' states and the fact that he can't win.
I am disgusted with the DNC. They should all be fired.
How about Hillary running as an independant if Hussein Oblama steals the nomination!!
to 1926 – what a shame! we are now in 2008 and yet people like you are still spreading vile rhetoric and can only see the color of the skin, no thanks to hillary. i am a person of color and i've been discriminated many times. it did not shake my faith nor my spirit to do what is right. i've volunteered my time to help out "white" people as well as hispanics and african americans.
obama is the most qualified of the candidates we now have, the most honest and more trustworthy. he actually believe that he, with our help, can change the way our government run, if hillary had the traits of obama, i most likely would vote for her. but she doesn't and neither do you.
so, do yourself a favor, turn off the tv, turn off the radio and stop reading the papers and stick your head back in the sand.
More hate-mongering by the HRC supporters. We don't need you to unite behind Obama; besides, the majority will.
Those of you who stay at home or vote for McCain will be left in the wind, because Obama WILL be the next president.
HRC – just as shameless as the people who support her.
There sure have been and are a number of Hillary supporters that are self-centered and close-minded.
But again, this was the very first impression I got when I had a Hillary supporter call my home asking if I was going to support Hillary. When the caller found out I was probably not going to vote for Hillary, the caller went irate and started yelling out negative comments over the phone. I just hung up on her.
At that point, I came to the conclusion that I was definately not going to support Hillary, because that caller was a reflection of Hillary.
And Hillary and a lot of Hillary's supporters have proven, over time, that my conclusion was correct.
No wonder why the country is in the shape it's in. Too many self-centered people.
This is so exciting! Only 49 more to go......
I for one am so looking forward to a new direction in this Country and the fresh new ideas and energy of Barack!
OBAMA 08 & 12!
I think people are missin the real point here....Obama does not have a enough experience....period. I'm a democrat but if he ends up against McCain...sorry to say it but he will lose and we will have to endure another term of Republican president. Clinton has a far better chance of beeting McCain. Idealy it should be a Clinton/Obama ticket. Let Obama get more seasoning as VP and after 8 years he will be ready. It would ensure dems in the white house for the next 16 years
Full of childish hate and ridicule.
The big problem Senator Obama will face in November is that he is not a Centrist candidate. He's a Radical. I think this has been masked by the presence of Senator Clinton. A Radical Democrat has never been elected. One only got 17 electoral votes.
I recommend doing what I did. Just tell the DNC you're changing registration to Independent. Now sit back and relax. You can do what you like in November and you don't have to worry until then.
WE CAN NO LONGER MAKE APOLOGIES FOR HILLARY CLINTON.
I would love to see a woman president– but it must be the right president regardless.
Just because Hillary Clinton will not win the nomination does not mean that people are against women. We need to turn the page, here.
To all you Nay sayers and Obama haters....shame on you. Obama will win the nomination and he will be our next president. I'll be serving up crow over at my place in November and I'll be sure to set aside a big plate for all of you
WHAT A DISGRACE!
Good....it's about time for this to end. Obama has won the nomination. There's no way around that.
For the last month and a half, I’ve asked myself, where is the leadership of this party? Why don’t they come out and just ask her to stop? I love the Clintons but enough is enough. What they’re doing to the democratic party is simply WRONG. I’ve given her and her supporters every benefit of the doubt but come on now. Just try to reconcile these statements from her…yes, from Hillary Clinton.
Last year when ask about the Michigan primary: “They’re voting but it’s clear to everybody that this primary WON’T count”. Now, not only they have to count it, but if they don’t, it’s undemocratic.
Hillary Clinton in February: “I don’t understand why people are putting so much emphasis on number of states won or the popular vote. In this election the only thing that matters is the number of delegates” now not only the popular vote counts but she’s also wining it if you count the votes she said shouldn’t counts to begin with.
Hillary Clinton in February: “Well, none of us will have the 2025 delegates needed to win this election, so it’ll come down to the super delegates” Now that she sees Obama, closing in 2025, the new number of delegates needed is 2210.
Hillary is simply dividing the party and making it as difficult as she possibly can for Obama to win so that she can run in 2012. How the leadership of the Democratic party don’t see that and intervene is beyond my comprehension. Just like I can’t understand how some Democrats would rather have another 4 years of George W. Bush by voting for McCain or not voting at all simply because they can’t accept that Clinton managed to lose an election that was her to lose.
Hillary, enough is enough…you LOST, it’s time to unite OUR PARTY.
Here's the little bit that I have learned about politics. The votes of the ruling committee has already been counted. No one goes into such meetings undecided. Axelrod has insider information and so does the Clintons, that is exactly why she is trying to gain public support. She is attempting to put pressure the committee members.
This weekend, after Friday's comments, President Carter soberly said the game is over and Hillary is out. This was not his opinion; this was a statement that he made with full knowledge of the insider information.
Everyone knows that this committee is not about to get in the way of this. This committee is not about to overturn the rules, to benefit the scorch-earth deceitful practices of the Clintons. To overturn the will of the pledge delegates would be a nightmare for the party. Her hostile behavior is not worth that risk.
as an obama supporter, i would like to extend a virtual olive branch to all of hillary's supporters (including my father). in the end, we are all democrats and in order to prevent our recession turning into a depression, our war in iraq turning into a war in iran, more of our brave soldiers returning in body bags, and gas jumping to $10 per gallon, we NEED TO UNITE and support our nominee (whomever that might be). this country cannot afford to have another republican in the white house. let's change this country for the better.
What this really means is that John McCain will win in November taking 40+ states.
I hope that we can all realize that this is for the greater good of our country. It is not about Hillary of Obama it is about the person who can lead us into a better place. Hillary or Obama can do that, lets not forget they believe the same things.
hahahahaha A coup within another bloodless coup.
It's a little sad reading all of these comments from delusional Clinton supporters. She's out of the race and hasn't really had a chance for at least the last couple months. Get over yourselves, fall in line and stop trying to tear the party apart.
Mr. Axelrod and the Obama campaign have done a very good job of coordinating their resources throughout this campaign. Here's a case study note for all those going forward: sometimes you need more then just experience. Experience is only effective when the sum of the whole is included. Cheers to the Obama camp.
Firstly, the superdelegates haven't voted yet, nomatter who they currently "support" and secondly, he is only close to the CURRENT target. After the rules comittee meets on Saturday, that number might be 2210.
Axelrod is desperate to have this declared over before it's really over, because he knows that there is a real possibility of the nomination slipping away from Obama if Florida and Michigan are seated.
MR. AMERICA also points out that Hillary is a WEAK candidate. Obama is the lesser of three evils. McCain....please. Hillary...a JOKE. Not worth a dogcatchers post. Never did anything on her own...NONE OF YOU WOULD HAVE HEARD OF HER IF NOT FOR BILL.
@ Jan from Boca Raton, FL
Oh? "so many skeletons?" Can you back that up with some proof? Or are you just spouting some propaganda you read somewhere?
Good job Obama. If I only I can find my fly-swatter to squash those two gnats (Bill & Hill) then we can go rip McCain 5 new ones to the full. Besides, Hill and Bill have another contest to gear up for, Peter Paul v. Clinton.
So now the country is left with either an extreme left liberal socialist, racist, anti-American, liar, typical politician, marxist , no experience or a liberal right conservative.
Think outside the box! Bob Barr 2008
Not in a million years I will vote for Obama ... I wanted Hillary because if I can't have her on the ticket... GO MCCAIN!!!