Hillary Clinton has reached the number of delegates required to clinch the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination, according to tallies by two U.S. media outlets.
However, the campaign of her rival, Bernie Sanders, vowed to keep up the fight in a race that has exposed deep rifts between the left-wing and the more centrist of the Democratic Party.
“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump,” Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement, castigating what he called the media’s “rush to judgment.”
While the majority of delegates are awarded by popular votes in state-by-state elections, superdelegates majorly consist of party leaders and elected senators, members of Congress and governors, and can alter their choices at any time.
Therefore, the Democratic National Committee has echoed the Sanders campaign, saying the superdelegates should not be counted until they vote at the convention in Philadelphia.
But that has not deterred the news media. The AP and NBC reported that Clinton reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic nominee with a decisive weekend victory in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
From her side, Clinton continued to edge out Sanders, particularly among older voters with longer ties to the Democratic party.
“According to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment,” Clinton told a rally in Long Beach, California, shortly after the AP report.
“But we still have work to do, don’t we? We have six elections tomorrow and we’re going to fight hard for every single vote, especially right here in California.”
Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses, and Sanders has 1,521. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an AP count, compared to 48 for Sanders.