David Espo and Stephen Ohlemacher report that:
Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, based on an Associated Press tally of convention delegates
No names are named, and no sources given.
The count on the Obama website now has him Obama 31.5 votes shy. Assuming he roughly splits the 31 votes at stake in Montana and South Dakota, he’d need about 15 more to clinch. Espo and Ohlemacher say
The AP tally was based on public commitments from delegates as well as more than a dozen private commitments. It also included a minimum number of delegates Obama was guaranteed even if he lost the final two primaries in South Dakota and Montana later in the day.
But they never say to whom those “private commitments” were made. I can only imagine this comes from the Obama camp, perhaps as a way of flushing out some more public commitments today so that he’s officially put over the top tonight by the voters of Montana and South Dakota rather than by superdelegates.
Anyway, there it is for what it’s worth. With McAuliffe saying that Clinton would virtually concede (she needs to keep the campaign formally open for fundraising purposes) as soon as Obama hits the magic number, I think we can now confidently say that it’s over as of tonight.
And not a minute too soon!