Clinton, Obama Compete in Final Primary Elections By VOA News
03 June 2008
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., speaks during a rally at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, 01 June 2008
The marathon-like U.S. presidential primary election season comes to an end Tuesday as voters head to the polls in the last two state primaries.
However, the Democratic Party may still not have its nominee for November's presidential election by the end of the day.
U.S. Senator Barack Obama leads Senator Hillary Clinton in the number of delegates needed to win. But the combined 31 delegates at stake today in South Dakota and Montana are not enough to push him past the threshold (2,118 delegates) to clinch the nomination.
That means the nomination will be decided by so-called superdelegates - officials and elected office holders who are free to vote for either candidate at the party's nominating convention in August.
Party officials say they think enough superdelegates will announce their support for Obama after the polls close tonight to give him the nomination.
Members of the Republican Party have already voted to nominate Arizona Senator John McCain as their presidential candidate.
On Monday, Obama expressed confidence he would have the nomination in hand by Wednesday. Today, he got the endorsement of a key superdelegate, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn. Clyburn is the third-highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign gave signs that it may have entered its final days.
Former President Bill Clinton told a crowd of supporters in South Dakota that Monday might be the last day he would be involved in a campaign like this one. He said it has been an honor to campaign for his wife.
Some Clinton field staffers were told Monday their services would no longer be needed.
At a campaign stop in Michigan, Obama praised Clinton. He said she has run an outstanding race. He also said he looks forward to meeting Clinton at a time and place of her choosing, and he promised to do all he can to unify the party before the general election.