Election 2008

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at a town hall meeting
in Billings, Mont., Monday, May 19, 2008 (AP).

Obama Campaign Claims Oregon Closer

May 20, 2008 07:01 AM
by Christopher Coats
Stopping short of claiming primary victory, Barack Obama suggests that a win in Oregon will put him over the top, despite a likely loss in Kentucky.

30-Second Summary

With contests scheduled in Kentucky and Oregon Tuesday, a decisive win for Obama in the Pacific Northwest state could solidify his nomination, giving him the necessary 2,026 delegates.

Although Hillary Clinton is expected to win handily in Kentucky, she is currently 10 points down in Oregon, and won’t likely catch her opponent in the three remaining contests.

Though official delegate counts vary among news outlets, The New York Times puts Obama at 1,910.5 total delegates, with Clinton at 1,716. The Obama campaign has distributed a memo placing the count much higher thanks to the support of those delegates once pledged to former North Carolina senator John Edwards, who endorsed Obama last week.

The Obama campaign has said that it will make no declaration of victory Tuesday, but it has nonetheless shifted gears in recent days, concentrating on the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain.

Further showcasing Obama’s confidence regarding the delegate math, he will not hold events in either of the states holding contests tomorrow, as candidates traditionally do. Instead, he will speak to a gathering in Iowa, a state the Illinois senator won in January and insists will be a battleground state in November.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign has shown no signs of slowing down, placing the needed delegate count at 2,209. This total includes delegates from Michigan and Florida, which both lost the right to seat their delegates after moving their primaries forward on the contest calendar.

Headline Links: ‘Obama ready to declare himself winner’

Background: Voter makeup in Oregon

Reactions: Looking ahead

Opinion & Analysis: Obama and the press

Reference: Delegate counts, the candidates


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