May 27th, 2008
12:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama about to clinch victory, aide says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama aide David Axelrod is predicting Obama will soon clinch the nomination."](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.

soundoff (431 Responses)
  1. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Mike D. from San Diego:

    Nader did not cost Gore the election in 2000. Neither did Bush.

    Bill Clinton cost Gore the election! Because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Gore refused to let Bill Clinton anywhere near his campaign. Gore couldn't even win his home state of Tennessee!

    Do you see the pattern? The same Bill Clinton also cost his wife's nomination. She may be the best candidate, but Bill screwed it up for her, too!

    May 27, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. leah

    FL and MI broke the rules. They suppressed their own vote before it was even taken. They should have stayed home on election day. Now they are being crybabies, and worse, calling it voter suppression. If Hillary was down in those states she would be saying just the opposite about their votes. It is just the way she is. Period.

    May 27, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Sheila WA

    Obama has run a superior campaign, worked hard for each and every delegate, even after all the Hill campaign threw at him. He has won this contest fair and square and kept above the fray while Bill and Hill were out putting us into categories like hard working americans, white americans,latte drinking elitists, over educated, sexists, etc...Now we are hearing of coverups and people trying to push Hillary out of the contest. Doesn't sound like fighting to me, sounds like playing the victimization card now.

    May 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Mike in PA

    In January Hillary said that Florida and Michigan won't count. She can't change the rules now. She should stand by her words from January and give up the race. She can't win.

    Obama in '08.

    May 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. obama - supporter - arkansas

    what is it with hillary that the supers are'nt backing her in droves? it goes both ways

    May 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Randy - Denver

    For all of you who say the "majic number will change after May 31" I have two things to say. 1) Glad you show you are up on politics it is comforting to know that people still follow the news even if they do not understand it all. 2) yes the number will change, but so will BOTH the delegates number for Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton, and even if she were given ALL the delegates from both states and he was given NONE he would still lead he in total delegates won therefore he would still lead going into the final three selection processes. (Note these are NOT elections folks they are selections and therefore Fl and MI did not lose their "right" to vote, voting rights are only for ELECTIONS not SELECTIONS). The most likely outcome will be some split of delegates, most likely favoring Ms. Clinton because the squeaky wheel gets the grease no matter how unjustified. However Mr. Obama will still lead in total delegates and I suspect, once the DNC has appeased the Clintons, more Superdelegates will come out and support Mr. Obama (will a few token for Ms. Clinton to end her husband's talk of a "GREAT DNC CONSPIRACY"). In the end it will be Mr. Obama, but I do think it was a bit early to make this announcement.

    May 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. freeda peeples


    "......HC is creating so much hate for Obama......."??????

    Obviously you haven't paid close attention to the blogs, comments and media bias. The nastiness coming from the Obama camp is inexcusable. This divide will not be closed by can count on it. Clinton supporters have had it with the lopsided coverage, superdelegates piling on before the primaries are over, etc, etc. Too bad....we're looking at another Republican administration. And, all we had to do is be nice to one another. I admit there was/is vitriolic remarks from both camps, but, the kind of venom spewed toward Senator Clinton I have never seen before. Democrats grow up!

    May 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. John

    Hillary is done, the Clintons are done, its the start of a new era, an Era of Clinton free politics, boy its great to be an American right now and know our future is about to be secured with a Clinton free political system and free of the Bushes and McSame its just a matter of time before your just a footnote in history too. Big Smiles all around;-)

    May 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Reality Check

    People hate her more now than when she started this election. The vote from uneducated people, including women will not be enough to win if she is planning to run again. Hillary and her uneducated supporters claiming she is the best candidate because of her core group. If her group is so large, how come she lost so bad. Well, you people are uneducated and don't know any better. Thank goodness educated people are participating in this election. Else, uneducated people would have pick another trailer trash person for president. America need a very educated person in the highest office. Hillary supporters, go back to school and finish your education. Maybe, after getting a college degree, you will understand why educated people are not supporting her. We see through her in a way that you don't. This election proved that education is very very important in order to make a good decision.

    I wish a woman with a personality like Caroline Kennedy will run next time. Not this trailer trash Hillary Clinton with the lowest form of personality.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Have you seen it? The respect I lost for the Clintons!

    Phil-Little Rock:

    RIGHT ON! I completely feel you!

    Great COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Aren't There 50 States?

    Where does Obama and his people get off trying to declare victory before we settle the dispute about Michigan and Florida? Don't these states count? These two states must be resolved before any candidate can declare themselves the winner. Doing so before these states are resolved, would make Obama the illegitimate nominee and he would be no better than what many Democrats consider Bush to be from 2000. For Obama to do this, to discount and ignore the will of the voters in these two states flies in the face of everything that is American. If Obama should declare himself the winner without the MI and FL issue resolved, and should the DNC "appoint" him the nominee, then the people in FL and MI will pay Obama back by voting in overwhelming numbers for John McCain in November. Obama will only suck up to those states if he thinks he needs them to win but he will do nothing for them now to have their voices heard. Obama is systematically destroying our democracy by preventing the people of FL and MI from having their say in who they want to be the Democratic nominee. This is so Anti-American it is unbelievable.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Jane

    As always Obama goes by his own scale. It is very clear that he is sure MI & FL aren't going to be counted. If they are he will not have the numbers needed. I would think that the President of The USA would want every vote counted but obviously he only wants what is good for himself. I hope that he enjoys running for president based on unfair numbers. His dream will be over 11/4 when the country casts their votes and Obama can't interfere with the end result. No matter who winds the democratic nomination it should not be decided without MI & FL. and no body she feel that is not right. Believe me the voters of MI & FL know Obama and the DMC is the sole reason their votes aren't counted. He refused a revote or to count the votes that were certified. I don't live in either of the states but Obama showed me what he was made of when he is fighting MI & FL. He will loose in Novemeber and deserves just that

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. john





    OBAMA 08.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. dorothy

    What has puzzled me throughout this whole agrument that Hillary presents, "I am more electable", is if you are such a dynamo and the people love you soooooooooooooo much, WHY AREN'T YOU WINNING? Beat Obama first....then you have unequivocal proof of electablility.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Lars Larson

    The reasons some super delegates have yet to commit is they don't want to run the risk of upsetting the Clinton's, who have a track record of holding a grudge. That is very well known – take Gov. Bill Richardson for example. Huge friend of the Clinton's until he endorsed Obama. Now they call him all sorts of names and can't believe they ever had anything to do with him.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Truth be told

    sorry Deb i see you have been tricked by the Clinton camp in believing that a popular vote is going to win the Dem nomination, this is far from the truth. They've told you that new count is 2209 or something like that again you are mis-informed by the Hill Camp , they are saying and doing anything to pull the wool over folks eyes who can't accept that she lost fairly and squarely. Frankly i dont care if the seat Mich and Fl she will still lose, they can't help her now.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Hillary supporter

    Obama supporters keep on bashing and being nasty as you usually are. The more you, the pundit's and the politicians supporters do it each and every day–the more you confirm why HRC supporters SHOULD NOT support BHO! Your arrogance and superiority speaks volumes. Just like you don't what Bill in the WH we don't want Michele in the WH!! And to those switching to BHO–glad you are not my friend. True family and friends do not abandon you when the road gets rough. They support you and encourage you until the end!

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Steve from Florida

    Finally, the news can get interesting again. This portion of the election has been over except for the kicking and screaming for a while now.

    And another thing...if I'm not mistaken, there is no "right" to vote in a primary protected by the constitution. Primaries are run by political parties, which themselves are separate entities from the government, and therefore voting in their primaries is not explicitly protected by any law. For all we know, the Democrats could get together tomorrow and say Mickey Mouse is the nominee, and there's nothing we can do about it except not vote for him in November.

    So PLEASE lay off all this whining about "votes being surpressed" or "rights being violated" or blah blah blah. Rules were agreed to, violated, and policy is being upheld. It's not Obama's fault he followed the rules his party put forward and he AND Hilldog agreed to.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Paul Dobro

    How can CNN let this gargbabe into the blog?

    "Independent May 27th, 2008 10:09 am ET

    Lets just hope Hillary does not get lucky and Obama gets offed before he declares victory. Wink-wink"

    May 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. S callahan

    Sen. Obama is not a risky bet. I think you'll see many people voting for him in the election. Yes, Sen. Clinton did also battle well, but the numbers say she lost.The question is why have the superdelegates waited so long, are they hostage to their vote?

    I think Obmama ran a wonderful campaign for nomination and deserves this. This is a white, middle aged , educated female speaking in NYS.

    May 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. Renee

    I can't believe any Democrat will not vote in November to end 4 more years of Bush. This is a democracy and there were rules. The rules clearly state delegates for the primary. Clinton and Obama agreed to these rules when running and in fact are on tape saying this. Why would anyone not vote for someone who won the delegates by playing by the rules. As a woman, I am apalled that anyone would either stay home or vote for McCain. Women's rights will certainly be overturned by him and Supreme Court justices will be replaced with very conservative justices. The time is now to unite this party. No matter who you have supported, we must get behind our nominee.

    End the division and 4 more years of Bush.

    May 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. rachel

    No one has the right to tell me who I must get behind. Obama may get the nomination , but he will never get my vote. I know he hates sentor clinton cause she didnt bow down to him, and all his praises of her are not genuine, just like he is not genuine.

    May 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. Bob ,Grand Rapids,MI.

    I certainly hope that his opponent does something to get him to the White House, and I don't mean as his VP. She has turned a lot of us off with her "win at any cost" attitude. This is the year for the Democrats to add credibility back to the nation's highest office.
    We might want to know what the energy policy Bush's VP worked on 7 seven years ago with "Big Oil".

    May 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. Janet WV for Obama

    Hillary AGREED, IN WRITING!!! that the Florida and Michigan votes would not count. There is no way that the DNC will give Hillary more than a 10 point delegate advantage on Friday. There is no way she can win, other than in her Hillary in Wonderland world. Frankly, I don't care who some of the ill-informed people vote for. Let's see Hillary win without the African-American voters who put her husband in the White House. I can't believe that some of these people are stupid enough to believe that the DNC, which approved the rules , will now change them to please Hillary. Florida and Michigan will be seated, but you can count on close to a 50/50 split which will Not affect the outcome! Obama won, fair and square!

    May 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. MartaK-Florida

    @ JenniferIf you read the "Issues" section on both Obama's and Clinton's web sites, you would see they are nearly identical on the issues overall. So if you're still not convinced about Obama....why are you supporting Hillary when her platform is nearly identical? The difference between them lies in character and ability to be a unifying force in DC. Hillary just doesn't cut it in either category.

    May 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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