For the first time in history, an American woman has clinched her party’s nomination to run for president. According to the Associated Press’s count on Monday, Hillary Clinton now has enough delegates to declare herself the presumptive Democratic nominee in November’s presidential elections. The news came just a day before several states, including California and New Jersey, hold primaries.
Clinton’s victory in Puerto Rico on Sunday left her 23 delegates shy of the 2,383 she needed to secure the nomination. Now, according to the Associated Press, more superdelegates have thrown their support behind her to get her over that threshold. Superdelegates are elected officials and distinguished party members whose votes are not tethered to the results of the primaries in their respective states. AP has interviewed 714 superdelegates: 571 will vote for Clinton, 48 will back Sanders and 95 declined to respond. Since the former secretary of state has already won 1,812 delegates in the primaries, those 571 superdelegates will guarantee her nomination.
The news came just one day before the vote was due to be held in California, the state that awards the largest number of delegates and which her rival, Bernie Sanders, has unexpectedly turned into an electoral battleground. Both candidates have been holding two to four events every day for the last few weeks in an exhausting campaign throughout the state. California voter polls say Clinton is set to win by a slim margin.
The news came just one day before the vote was due to be held in California, the state that awards the largest number of delegates
New Jersey will also vote on Tuesday. Clinton only has to tie with Sanders there to seize the nomination, even before California results come in.
“This is an important milestone, but there are six states that are voting Tuesday, with millions of people heading to the polls, and Hillary Clinton is working to earn every vote,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “We look forward to Tuesday night, when Hillary Clinton will clinch not only a win in the popular vote, but also the majority of pledged delegates,” he added.
Clinton responded on Twitter saying “We’re flattered, AP, but we’ve got primaries to win. CA, MT, NM, ND, NJ, SD, vote tomorrow!”
The former secretary of state is set to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination from one of the major US parties. This victory comes just one day before the eighth anniversary of her defeat in 2007. She lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, even though she was the favorite to win. Obama had 131 delegates and 105 superdelegates more than she did when she threw in the towel. This time around, she is leading by 291 delegates, 523 superdelegates and three million popular votes.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has promised to continue campaigning until the last day possible
The Sanders campaign has issued a brief statement saying: “It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgement, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer. Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race. Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump.”
Meanwhile, Sanders has promised to continue campaigning until the last day possible. The Vermont senator says that if he wins California – a very Democratic and diverse state – as well as New Jersey, he will prove that he is the best candidate to mobilize the Democratic vote and defeat Donald Trump. His campaign would even take the fight to the convention. Favorable results in California and New Jersey could make superdelegates change their vote, Sanders says.
English version by Dyane Jean François.
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