(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.
Why is this a headline at CNN? When would they expect him to declare victory, 2011..?
I wouldn't vote for him no matter what.....
Hillary is washed up old news, and a spiteful witch willing to bring down the dems with her sinking ship.
Obama gives me hope for this country. Blog commenters erase it.
Are half of you just uneducated, babbling fools?
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 forl ast eight years and the other gang that trying to squeeze themselve by hook or crook into whitehouse.
If Hillary does not win the nomination, neither my husband or I will vote for Obama. He is just a kid still wet behind the ears–promises, promises. We will never forget the comment his wife made about her finally being proud of being an American. What a terrible thing to say!
...but of course he will declare victory....and in November too. Was there any doubt?
No problem at all. When that happens Obama will be the nominee. Until then the race goes on.
Obama is 49 delegates short of clinching the nomination. Hillary is 249. This is finally over. It's time to focus on McCain.
I am a Hillary supporter BUT it's clear now who the winner is and I will get behind Obama as all Dem must.
former Hillary supporter for Obama =)
Stay bittter, angry and make excuses for Hillary all summer if you want to. I have better plans for my summer than to listen to Hillary or Bill rant on TV about some conspiracy or listen to bitter angry women complain about sexism. I think your queen has done a great disservice to women every where with her actions GO OBAMA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Uh, Hillary cheerleaders? It's over. Give it up and stop trolling the ticker.
Hillary Clinton agreed to FL and MI losing their delegates. Her campaign agreed to it, so she can't complain about it.
It's time for her to take her loss like a man, and bow out gracefully.
Hey Tom, while we Hillary supportes appreciate you nice comments, take the blinders off – Obama has been cutting up Hillary all the way and now he's attacking Mccain every stump speech he makes – can't you see that? Are you really blind because I can sent you transcripts of every negative thing he has said against Hillary and Mccain in all of his campaign stops. It's one thing to be a supporter but man don't blatently lie.
I cant believe that all the Hillary supporters want to just give her the nomination reguardless of the rules, regardless of the fact that Obama is ahead.
Why cant you unite behind Obama? Is it because he Black?
Obama needs to remember he is still fighting for the nomination. He needs to be campaigning in the upcoming primary states. Hillary is working hard and she deserves every vote she gets. Why is Obama not working as hard in these primary states? November is a long time away!!!
I do not like the apparent lack of attention Obama has been giving the last end of this primary season. He is not the candidate yet and needs to keep his eyes on sly Hillary. The Clintons have shown no shame in this primary and will try to change rules and use negative 'smear' tactics against him. Obama, keep yourself focussed on these important states.
Obama supporter in FL
Brilliantly ran campaign @ Obama and staff! You guys deserve this nomination. Now lets work even harder to beat "The Manchurian Candidate".
Even with Florida and Michigan, the race isn't going to change.
Current Delegate count with Florida and Michigan:
Now, the only chance Hillary would have is to take off a number of the Uncommitted delegates from Florida, however an overwhelming majority of those are Obama supporters. She maybe can take off 10 or so delegates from there, the rest to Obama. And Edwards has endorsed Obama, and so far 100% of those delegates have gone to Obama. So considering that:
Obama: 2118 – Need 29% of remaining delegates, or 92 delegates
Clinton: 1982 – Need 72% of remaining delegates, or 228 delegates
There have already been a number of super delegates who have said they will go with the Pledged Delegate Majority winner, and Obama still has that.
There just are not enough contests left for Hillary to make a dent into the math at this point.
How can Obama win the delegates or super delegates when he only spent a couple of hours in Puerto Rico? Instead he is to busy being presidential when he should be out campaigning to finish off the primaries. He needs the votes in Puerto Rico. He is screwing up bad!
All Hillary supports who spew hate about Obama underlines all the reasons that I tell my kids about the world they will face as bi-racial black and hispanic men. You turn the other cheek and keep your head up but, when THEY (u know who) don't get what they want their TRUE COLORS always come out.
If the super delegates want to start uniting the Democratic Party, a wealth of them should commit before the final primaries. This way, it will still be pledged delegates who will clinch the nomination (sure, a mere technicality, but it works).
To anyone who is narrow minded enough to not unite once a nominee is chosen... it's completely ludicrous and you're making a mockery of this entire election. If you think not voting and allowing the other party to win the Presidency is worth your selfish pride, then the next four years of your life will be one big slap of karma. Consider three Supreme Court judges elected by McCain... enough said!
THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT. STOLE THAT FROM KOBE.
You Clintonites are just as hateful and nasty – if not more so! At least I would vote for Hillary if she was the nominee without question. It is all about the Democrats beating McCain.
Amazing how the Clintonites comb the areas looking for somewhere to interject their hatred and frustrations with the fact that HRC is being beaten fair and square. Anyone who believes otherwise is weakminded and it will get you nowhere. What is their excuse that the people who make the decisions are breaking for Obama? Looks to me like she is the one who is not the majority of the people's choice. Obama has taken the high road and been a gentleman where she is concerned. If only another womas was able to go head to head for her. The last word is NO Hillary. What part of No don't you understand?
Only six months left before the 2012 election season begins in ernest.
Go OBAMA you can declare victory soon. It is now time for the american people to choose a proven leader. Whites will now show these media outlets that it is not about the color of your skin, it is about who is going to lead this country to change we desperately need.