(CNN) - Barack Obama may have claimed a pledged delegate majority – but his campaign said Tuesday night they're not ready to call the race over.
In an email sent to supporters shortly after he captured the pledged delegate lead Tuesday night, Obama said that his campaign had ”reached a major milestone on this journey” but “…We still have work to do to in the remaining states, where we will compete for every delegate available.”
Senior campaign advisers also noted the achievement, but echoed Obama’s cautious tone.
“This is a big deal - I think to get the majority of the pledged delegates is a real milestone in this race… I don't think anybody ever won the majority of pledged delegates [that has] not been the nominee of the party,” senior adviser David Axelrod told reporters. “But we are going to continue to fight for every delegate and finish the process.”
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/20/art.obamaiowa.ap.jpg caption="Obama addressed Iowa supporters Tuesday."](CNN) - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama told an Iowa crowd Tuesday night that his campaign was “within reach of the Democratic nomination.”
CNN projects that Obama won the Oregon primary. Hillary Clinton beat him by a wide margin in Kentucky – but the Illinois senator is still expected to claim a minimum of 14 of the 51 delegates at stake in Tuesday's contest, giving him 1,627 of the 3,253 delegates that will be awarded during the Democratic primaries and caucuses.
"You have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination," Obama told a cheering crowd in Des Moines.
"The skeptics predicted we wouldn't get very far," he said. "The cynics dismissed us as a lot of hype and a little too much hope. And by the fall, the pundits in Washington had all but counted us out. But the people of Iowa had a different idea."
Obama congratulated Clinton's win in Kentucky, calling her "one of the most formidable candidates to ever run for this office." He dismissed claims that the heated exchanges between him and Clinton have divided the party.
"No matter how this primary ends, Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and yours will come of age," he said.
(CNN) - Two of three voters in Oregon's Democratic primary disagree with Hillary Clinton's call for a moratorium in the federal gasoline tax. Twenty-six percent of the voters in CNN's Oregon voter poll, conducted by phone, think suspending the gas tax is a good idea; they went for Clinton over Barack Obama 64 to 34 percent. Sixty-three percent think it's a bad idea to suspend the gas tax - those voters supported Obama 67 to 31 percent.
(CNN) - CNN just predicted Obama will win the Oregon primary. How did the Illinois senator win there so easily?
Obama won overwhelming support from Oregon voters who attended college. Nearly 60 percent of that demographic went for Obama there and those voters made up nearly 80 percent of the demographic.
Obama also won big in another category: among those voters who say they do not have a religion, or have another religion outside of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism.
Nearly 30 percent of Oregon Democrats said they were not religious and those voters went for Obama by 21 percentage points, 60 percent to 39 percent. And among those voters who listed "other" as their religion, a group that made up 10 percent of the vote, Obama won by 42 points, 70 percent to 28 percent.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/20/art.kyclinton.ap.jpg caption="Clinton's victory party supporters were pragmatic about her chances."] LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) – The crowd at Hillary Clinton’s Kentucky victory party Tuesday night was a cross-section of the state’s Democratic base – the mostly white, working-class voters swayed less by Obama’s lofty message of hope and change than Hillary Clinton’s solutions-oriented stump speech.
“He was inspirational for the first couple of months and I can see why people were voting for him,” said Eric Felddausch, an 18 year-old sophomore at Kentucky Wesleyan College. “It’s more about the experience for me. Obama seems almost naïve to think that he can just sit down with leaders like Ahmadinejad and Raul Castro. Just shows his inexperience and shows he hasn’t been around Washington long enough.”
Standing a few feet away was Ann Regan, a retired Floridian who had come up to Kentucky volunteer for the campaign after contributing the maximum amount allowed.
“I thought it would be good to work in a state where when you go to the polls your vote will count,” said Regan, adding that she doesn’t fault the Obama campaign for not wanting to include Florida’s votes as they stand. “He wants to win so I can’t blame him for that, it’s politics right now.”
Supporters held posters behind Clinton exclaiming, “Count Every Vote” as she delivered prepared remarks to thunderous applause from the crowd.
But as for Clinton’s shot at converting big back-to-back wins in West Virginia and Kentucky into the nomination, both Regan and Felddausch were doubtful.
“It looks like the chances are slim, I’m not going to say none, but they’re slim,” said Regan.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/21/art.mccain0520.ap.jpg caption="McCain will make an appearance at the NAACP convention this summer."] (CNN) - Last year, Rep. Tom Tancredo was the only Republican presidential contender to accept an invitation from the NAACP to appear at its convention. This summer, the party’s presumptive nominee, John McCain, will address members of the civil rights group at its annual meeting.
In an interview with Essence magazine released Tuesday, the Arizona senator said he would "go to places and venues that would allow me to continue a dialogue with the African-American community. I will go to the NAACP convention."
Last month, McCain spent a week touring the country in an effort to reach out to voters who have not traditionally backed the GOP in large numbers, including a stop in Selma, Alabama – a pivotal location in the civil rights movement.
Obama greets supporters in Iowa Tuesday, more than four months after he won the primary season's first contest there. (Photo Credit: Mike Roselli/CNN)
(CNN) - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has won a majority of the pledged delegates in the Democratic race for president even after losing Tuesday's Kentucky primary to Sen. Hillary Clinton, according to CNN estimates.
Clinton, the New York senator and former first lady, beat Obama by a wide margin in Kentucky. But Obama is still expected to claim a minimum of 14 of the 51 delegates at stake in Tuesday's contest, giving him 1,627 of the 3,253 delegates that will be awarded during the Democratic primaries and caucuses.
Results from Oregon, the second contest of the night, are not expected until after 11 p.m. ET. Published polls showed Obama leading Clinton there.
A total of 2,026 delegates are needed to win the party's presidential nomination, however. That means the race is likely to be settled by the party's "superdelegates" - governors, members of Congress and party officials who will cast votes at the Democratic convention in August.
(updated with additional details)
Watch a clip from Sen. Clinton's Kentucky victory speech. (Photo credit: AP)
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) - After winning Tuesday's Kentucky primary by an overwhelming margin, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton told a cheering crowd that "we've achieved an important victory" and that she had no plans to drop out of the race against Barack Obama.
"It's not just the Kentucky bluegrass that music to my ears - it's the sound of your overwhelming vote of confidence even in the face of tough odds," she said.
"You've never given up on me, because you know I've never given up on you."
(CNN) - In another sign Barack Obama has trouble courting blue-collar voters, less than half of Kentucky Democrats said Tuesday that Barack Obama shares their values.
According to the exit polls, only 43 percent of voters there said Obama shares their values, a statistic that could potentially hurt him in the fall should he win the party's nomination.
That compares to 73 percent of Kentucky Democrats who said Hillary Clinton shares their values – a statistic the Clinton campaign often references when it claims the New York Democrat has a better chance of winning the crucial swing states in a general election.
The numbers were very similar in West Virginia last week. There only 43 percent said Obama shared their values while 70 percent said Clinton did.
Obama clearly has a long way to go in defining himself among these voters should he be the party's nominee.