(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.
He ran a brilliant campaign and he deserves the nomination. He still has money, and he still has his integrity. I'd say that is the right combination for a winner.
I won't talk about Hillary anymore because this is what she wants us to do.
Regarding John McCain, Barack absolutely has the "right" to question him regarding his treatment to the soldiers, especially since he wants to keep them in the military and send them to ANOTHER war. McCain is McSame and he can run and hide from GW all he wants, they are still one in the same.
Good on him. This has been too long in coming. Now hopefully they can unite the Democratic Party and fight for victory in November.
Bill Clinton's complaining that people are trying to bully the superdelegates??? Is he joking? For months, we've heard of nothing but attempts by the Clintons to bully superdelegates and even pledged delegates.
Supers don't count until the convention....so don't gets to excited Obamabots!!
All the way to the Convention Hillary!!!
My goodness! this woman keeps claiming she can win the general election, when she has not been able to win only primaries, and she and Monica's boy friend never stop saying that Obama cannot win the general election. Count one before you count two, my dear Clintons.
You and Obama started this race the same day, and with many others, and day by day Obama and other wise politicians never stopped commending ur effort and tenacity and hoping you'd do something to change the trend of events.
Its Obama and his supporters against the world – Bill, Hillary, Mc Cain, Pastor Wright. Name them. Just one decent guy out there.
My message is this Hillary cannot win the white house if she cannot win the general election, even with all Bills and Obama cannot win the white house because his name is Obama. The democrats must rally behind him, to be able to do it, just like they rallied behind every other democratic president that has taken the whit house. When he wins, its the democrats that has the victory and not Obama or Mitchelle or their daughters or his supporters and Obama of all people knows that.
If Hillary wins, from the way she has been lately, she will claim she solely captured the white house because she is Hillary and then she will find a way to deal with those Supers that didn't endorse her, even worse the ones switched from her to Obama.
mike-you never were a democrat.you are on here every day,claiming to be a hillary supporter,we all know you are a republican troll,so,go to fox news to blog.
Hillary has not been beated fair and square and anyone who thinks such is downright ignorant. They are the ones who have been so susceptible to the "Obama glorification" by the news media. Hillary has been unfairly "swiftboated" by the media.
MOST INSIDERS SAY THAT AT THE DEMOACRATIC MEETING ON FRI THEY WILL SPLIT THE DELAGATES 50/50
THAT DOES NOT HELP HER AT ALL
YOU CAN NOT REWARD A STATE FOR BREAKING THE RULES OR A CANIDATE WHO SAID SHE WOULD NOT CAMPAIN THERE AND THEN DID ANYWAY SHE IS ONE LIE AFTER ANOTHER
IF WE ALLOW STATES TO MOVE UP THIER PRIMARYS WE WILL BE VOTING IN SEPTEMBER NEXT TIME
oh really!!!! dont love yourself so much. Im one woman out of millions who will never vote for obama. We will be staying home!!!!!
This is just like a summer baseball game, when a player loses and blames it all on the umpires.
Marie-Lynn – you do not know what you are talking about. Brown lost two primaries in April but if he had of won CA in June he would have kept Clinton from winning the nomination before the convention. Clinton won the CA primary and then had the delegates to cinch the nomination. Do your research before you speak.
CNN must have forgotten that the superdelegate pledges are not official until the convention and they can always change their mind before then.
Whew, I'm exhausted from the dirty politics of Hillary Clinton, but I will get my second wind, because we need to win this-fight on Dems. We can do it.
I'd say MORE than half are babbling fools...
For all the Hillary supporters. Fighting is a good thing if it gets positive things accomplished and you are principled in doing it. Too often in this country we look at things in terms of winners and losers. You can also win by losing. If you reject your principles and take the win at all coast road, then you are truly a loser. If you blame your loss on someone else other than yourself, you truly are a loser. If you stretch the truth and use innuendo in your arguments, you are truly a loser. If you place yourself above the country you are truly a loser. George Bush has placed himself above the people and this country and we have ben all losers because of it. From the way Bill and Hillary are talking, it appears they are doing the same thing. If you are good and honest and truthful person, then you are a winner in life and that is all that really matters. In the end, you must be happy with yourself and what you have done.
About time – this could have happened three months ago and saved us all a lot of time, money, and exposure to Clinton craziness.
Every Democrat I know personally in 4 states will NOT vote for Obama no matter what happens. We will not come together. I'm either writing in Hillary or voting McCain. I don't know anyone voting for Obama.
Mike D. from San Diego May 27th, 2008 10:09 am ET
two words my fellow Obama supporters….RALPH NADER
What do I mean by this??? I’ll tell you.
A small defection of liberals from the Democratic party to Nader probably cost the Democrats the White House in 2000. What do you think a defection of Hillary Clinton supporters could do? Perhaps the same thing?
It appears that Obama is the nominee, but WE HAVEN”T WON ANYTHING!
All of this taunting of Hillary Clinton’s supporters needs to stop NOW! We need every single vote come November. The cards are already stacked enough against Obama because of the race issue. We can’t afford to alienate anyone.
Quit being a sore winner and extend your hand to your fellow Democrats who support Clinton or we can all sit together under four more years of McBush.
Too late we know you and your candidate for what you are...I a life long dem will never support or vote for oprama
IT IS OVER FOR AMERICA if OBAMA WINS!!!
THAT'S FOR SURE!!
Deb find another cause to rally behind. THis one is over. No matter how much you chant it won't change anything.
And for you people who believe Hillary and Bill that she has the popular vote, don't forget the caucus votes. Obama won the caucus states. Even though the win only shows in number of delegates there were some votes behind them. The more votes the more delegates. So Obama got the most votes from the caususes. But I'm sure you Hillary supporters don't want to know how many votes that translates to. All I'll say it makes him win the popular even with FL and MI given to her. And the superdelegates know this.
This is how you win the primary. Most delegates (most states won and most popular vote doesn't hurt either.
Hey John, do us a favor. Stay in Europe. You can't even vote little brother...
I think its a shame that this country, in 2008, is still as racist as it was almost a half century ago. Being an african american myself, I have to say that it is apparent there are still a great deal of people still caught up in skin color (black and white people). This is one of the reasons a lot of other countries hate the USA.In my humble opinion, Obabma has run the better campain. At first when I heard that Clinton was running, I was a supporter of hers. But all of the negative attacts, lies, and mismanagement in her own campain, led me to switch to Obama. However, if she somehow manages to beat Obama (not gonna happen), I will vote for her. Something has to give. We do need a change, and another republican in the white house will not give us the change we need as a country. Democrats voting for Mcain just because Clinton didn't win is just ridiculous to me. It just sounds like you won't vote for Obama simply because of his color and that is a shame. I'm not saying thats the case, it just sounds like it. Its time to unite the democratic party and stop all this hatred. This thing is almost over and we need to unite.
How can anyone support Hillary when she pretty much says that she's staying in the race in case someone shoots Obama like RFK? This is the worst fear campaigning I've ever seen. I'm sure that there are more than a few far-right radicals that would just as soon take a shot at the first female prez as they would the first black prez. The supers cannot make a decision based on what might happen to a candidate!
This will go to convention regardless. Delegates and Supers can change their minds from now until the Credential Committee has done their thing and the votes are called at Convention. Why else bother to have a convention.? Just to have a big ego party?
Your supers will select your next nominee. Thats why they invented supers as knew the electorate was non to bright and voted on emotions.
You act as tho the President is going to do something for you personally. Big daddy?
Check out the Electoral college map. Thats what counts at the GE.
Previous post should have read, "Hillary has not been beat...."