Obama gains two superdelegates

May 9, 2008 7:43:15 PM PDT
News from the campaign trail says Senator Barack Obama takes the lead in superdelegates. He picked up two more Friday morning, one of those defecting from the Clinton camp.

On Super Tuesday on February 5th, Senator Barack Obama trailed Senator Hillary Clinton by 60 superdelegates. He now is five ahead of Hillary with 272, to her 267, with 207 superdelegates uncommitted. On Friday for the first time, Obama leads in this category and in every other. He's got more states, more delegates, more votes and more money.

Campaigning in Oregon Friday, Obama focused on his Republican rival.

"John McCain will stand with Washington's tried, and I believe failed, approaches of the past and I will stand with the American people on behalf of a new direction," said Sen. Obama.

In the race for the nomination, Obama's new direction is away from Hillary Clinton, mentioning her only when a voter asked if he might consider putting her on the ticket.

"Were you put up to that, by one of those reporters back there? Did you guys get to him?" asked Obama.

Obama ducked the question saying it's too early and he doesn't have the nomination locked up.

Regardless, Clinton trails him by a 170 pledged delegates, the largest gap since the race began and now he's passed her in superdelegates with more coming on board every day.

Even the scrupulously neutral chair of the House Democratic Party Caucus says Obama is the presumptive nominee.

"Hillary can't win but something could happen that could affect and Barack could lose" said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D) Ill., the chair of the House Democratic Party Caucus.

That's significant says Prof. Bruce Cain, Ph.D, ABC7's political analyst and U.C.'s political expert in Washington D.C.

"He is after all the architect of the 2006 congressional victories around the country," said Cain.

But the Obama campaign isn't talking about having the nomination in hand, at least not publicly. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Obama's western regional co-chair reflects the campaigns.

"I'm not saying anything of that nature. We're going to continue to campaign until there is a nominee" said Rep. Lee (D) Oakland.

Also in Oregon on Friday, Clinton was shaking off any suggestion that she'd drop out.

"As I look out at all of you, I know we can turn this country around, we can solve our problems," said Clinton.

But her biggest problem in Oregon is money. Barack Obama has 17 campaign offices Clinton has seven and is being seriously outspent on the ground.

She has scheduled a meeting with big donors for the day after next Tuesday's primary in West Virginia. There is speculation that meeting could signal the end, but our political analyst says at this point that tough read.

"It could be either way it could be an exhortation to stay or it could be thanking them and really acknowledging them for all the work they did," says Cain.

West Virginia is next Tuesday. The Oregon's primary is a week from next Tuesday and it's expected the Oregon primary will push Obama over the top, giving him the majority of pledged delegates.