(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.
It is kinda obvious, the whole world knows it except the Dems and of course the Clintons! Nice piece is Time today, debunked the Clinton myth that Bill ran this hard fought campaign in '92 and wrapped up the nomination in June...turns out he had it sowed up in April from actual facts! I guess one of her two reasons for staying in the race is outright lie, I guess that just leaves the "other"!
Go Obama Go!!!
Clinton supporters try to say that Obama is bad mouthing her. But he is just doing what he needs to win. He is always gracous to her and he is still beating her. On the other hand, she has just slung mud since she saw she could not win. Thats not right.
This HOPEFULLY will be it. If Clinton finds a way to steal this nomination, I'm voting Libertarian. The Democratic Party WILL NOT have my vote in November is Clinton is the nominee. I can't stand the sight of her any longer.
Clinton has dropped to a disgusting new low. It's pathetic and childish.
Deb – How in the world did you deduce your comment from the preceding news story?
Here's a hint – try sticking to the conversation at hand and leave the spam at home.
In other words, "Senator Obama is electable".
Yes We Can.
Too early! Let the Clintonistas have their last week of crying foul and complaining that she was "inevitable" and he "stole" the selection from her! It is the last time we ahve to actually listeen to them so please just let them have their day in the sun, their last cry and then the great "American Conspiracy" (you know all of us Americans who, with our votes, conspried to steal this from Ms., Clinton) can move forward and Mr. Clinton can shut up and go back to being the footnote to Mr. GATES legacy, and Ms. Clinton can then just shut up!
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.
Shall we wait to see how the voters feel? If the superdelegates go against the voters, watch out!
David, I agree with you!
Let it be known that Obama has clinched the nomination a long time ago, but due to courtesy and Hillarious being disengenous, we can wait to June 3rd to proclaim the nomination officially!
Let's see how in the full glare of the whole wide world and the media watching, will Hillarious steal the nomination.
There is no way now for Barack Obama not to be the democratic nominee!
YES WE CAN!!!!
YES WE CAN
deserves to get the nomination. he has played by the rules and has
never done any disrespect to hillary. he always has praise for her,while she and bill are playing nasty about him. i just hope howard dean has the guts to man up and not let the clintons steal the nomination from barack. I FEEL IF IT IS GIVE TO HILLARY,SHE WILL STILL BE THE LOOSER. ALL BECAUSE SHE HAS PLAYED DIRTY POLITICS. IT WILL COME BACK TO BITE THEM IN THE BUT. AND FOR BILLY BOY=WHO CARES WHAT HE THINKS
CNN PLEASE POST THIS.
GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND THE GREAT USA.
Lets just hope Hillary does not get lucky and Obama gets offed before he declares victory. Wink-wink
He will have the nod. But the party is divided.
Thank goodness!! Enough of the Clintons and their misguided perceptions on reality
Clinton has sunk to an amazing new low. At first, I was going to support whatever Democrat made the nomination, but I can't stand her no longer.
I will be voting Libertarian, if Clinton manages to steal the nomination.
He can claim anything he wants.
He will never be president
this isn't news to me...we've known this would happen since march...see you later hillary!!!
Congratulations to Senator Obama!
Senator Clinton you have fought bravely and was a great opponent!
However, Senator Clinton is no longer a viable candidate! After all of the misspeaks, lies, half truths and inapporpriate racial remarks and inunendos!
Time for us to move forward!
It is really sad that the Hillary supporters just refused to accept Obama has won the nomination. It's a terrible day when people can see that the man beat the Clintons fare and square. They are the ones trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. They are the ones trying to change the numbers game.
It is over!!!!!!!!!!!!! Literally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is Deb a standup comic?
Come on Superdelegates... keep it coming. Time to coalesce around the nominee and move to General Election season.
It's nice to see the actual numbers rather than the manufactured comments of a nearly impeached ex-president. You know, this always happens whenever Hillary or Bill say something completely stupid like the murder of Obama statement the other day, they need to deflect it as quickly as possible. They are great at manufacturing issues to obviscate! Hillary is not ahead in the popular vote. If she was, she would have the majority of the delegets. Bill and Hillary like to make it out like she's a victom of some conspiracy. Right wing – left wing, DNC, Obama camp, it doesn't matter, just manufacture a conspiracy against her and people go out and vote for her. It's a lost cause at this point.
It must be really hard for them to let go of their dream of Hillary and then Chealse in a true manarch march throught the next 16 years. Let's get this over and it together Dem's, we got McCain to get ready for.
This primary is the sickest "sitcom" of all time.
Hillary Clinton is vile, selfish, incoherent, and lies through her teeth. How can anyone in America vote for a person like that?
I hope after the primaries are over, I never hear from Hillary Clinton ever again.
about time! im a canadian and i am EXCITED to see Obama win this .. if only we had him as our prime minister ..
It will be very interesting to see how the Ku Klux Klintons try to spin this one
( waiting for CNN to finally post my first comment after 11 tries)
wow, he is already counting himself as the PRESIDENT of the USA.
THINK AGAIN, YOU GOT NO CHANCE AGAIN MCAIN....GET IT TO YOUR BRAIN, IF YOU GOT SOME...
HILLARY CLINTON ONLY HOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YES WE WILL .................