Obama now over the top: AP

The story is unsourced, and based in part on “private commitments, but it’s great news if true.

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!

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com