Clinton keeps focused: ‘Not over until it’s over’
Compton, Calif. — Hillary Clinton stood on the cusp Monday of having enough delegates to claim the Democratic presidential nomination, having overwhelmed Bernie Sanders in a pair of weekend elections in the Caribbean.
Yet the former secretary of state barely noted her commanding wins Saturday in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Sunday in Puerto Rico, instead remaining focused on Tuesday’s contests in California and five other states — and a general election matchup to come against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“I am so focused on all the states that are voting tomorrow,” Clinton said. “That is my singular focus. I know there is a lot of work still going on.”
“It’s not over until it’s over, and tomorrow is a really important day, particularly here in California,” she added.
After blowout weekend wins in the two U.S. territories, Clinton is now 23 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination, according to an Associated Press count.
Clinton won all seven delegates available in the U.S. Virgin Islands and at least 36 of the 60 delegates available in Puerto Rico.
There are four delegates remaining in Puerto Rico, but they cannot be allocated until the vote count there is finished. That won’t happen until Tuesday, because the island’s elections workers took Monday off after counting results until dawn.
Clinton now has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses; Sanders has 1,521.
When including superdelegates, the party insiders who can vote for the candidate of their choice at the party’s summer convention, her lead over Sanders is substantial: 2,360 to 1,567.
AP surveys the superdelegates throughout the primary season to track who they planned to support at the July convention.
If a superdelegate tells AP they plan to unequivocally support a candidate at the convention in July, the superdelegate is added to that candidate’s tally.
Both Clinton and Sanders spent Monday in California, the biggest prize among the six states voting on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters at a community center in the Compton, Clinton said she was on her way to having a clear lead in the popular vote and pledged delegates.
She said that should she become the nominee, she’ll be “reaching out” to Sanders and would do what she could to bring the party together.
A few hours to the north at a press conference outside Oakland, Sanders made the case he was the best candidate to take on Trump in the general election. But he declined to speculate to reporters about what a poor showing in Tuesday might mean to his presidential campaign.
The Vermont senator’s tone was more subdued than over the weekend, when he said the Democratic convention would be contested if no one wins the nomination based on delegates awarded in the primaries and caucuses.
“Let me just talk to you after the primary here in California, where we hope to win,” Sanders said. “Let’s assess where we are after tomorrow.”