Obama closes in on Democratic nomination
By | Associated Press Writer

Published May 21st 2008 in Baltimore Sun
WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obamapulled within shouting distance of the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, though he still needs help from superdelegates to claim the prize.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clintonwon more of the delegates at stake in Tuesday's primaries, including an overwhelming majority in Kentucky. Obama fared better in Oregon, where election officials were still counting votes Wednesday.

The split decision left Obama fewer than 70 delegates from the 2,026 needed to secure the nomination.

Clinton won at least 56 delegates in the two states and Obama won at least 43, according to an analysis of election returns by The Associated Press. All the delegates from Kentucky were awarded, but there were still four to be allocated in Oregon. A total of 103 were at stake in both primaries.

Obama had a total of 1,963 delegates, including endorsements from party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Clinton had 1,778 delegates, according to the latest tally by the AP.

Three primaries remain -- Puerto Rico, Montana, South Dakota -- with a total of 86 delegates at stake. Obama cannot win enough of those delegates to clinch the nomination because of the proportional way in which the Democrats award delegates.

But he can come close.

That leaves the nomination in the hands of the superdelegates, who automatically attend the convention and can support whomever they choose, regardless of what happens in the primaries.

Nearly 800 will attend the convention, with a little more than 200 superdelegates still left to be claimed by the two candidates.

Obama has added more than 50 superdelegate endorsements in the past two weeks, while Clinton has picked up 10.

Obama added two superdelegates Wednesday, Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut and Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy. Clinton picked up one, Ohio superdelegate Craig Bashein.

Obama also took a delegate from Clinton in Colorado, where party officials finished counting votes from the Democratic state convention during the weekend.

Obama won 36 delegates in Colorado and Clinton won 19. It is common for delegates to shift in caucus states where campaigns battle for delegates throughout the multistep selection process. Colorado held its initial caucuses Feb. 5.

The AP tracks the delegate races by calculating the number of national convention delegates won by candidates in each presidential primary or caucus, based on state and national party rules, and by interviewing unpledged delegates to obtain their preferences.

Most primaries and some caucuses are binding, meaning delegates won by the candidates are pledged to support that candidate at the national conventions this summer.

Political parties in some states, however, use multistep procedures to award national delegates. Typically, such states use local caucuses to elect delegates to state or congressional district conventions, where national delegates are selected. In these states, the AP uses the results from local caucuses to calculate the number of national delegates each candidate will win, if the candidate's level of support at the caucus doesn't change.
Sierra Club National Popular Vote Resolution
WHEREAS, the mission of the Sierra Club is to explore, enjoy and protect the planet through grassroots participation in politics and government; and

WHEREAS,  presidential candidates focus their efforts and resources only in battleground states.

WHEREAS, two-thirds of the states receive little to no attention in a competitive presidential election.

THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Sierra Club supports National Popular Vote state legislation that will elect the President of the United States by popular vote.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Sierra Club supports election of the President of the United States by direct popular vote.