Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Clinton notches decisive wins in final contests, solidifying her position as the presumptive nominee

Hillary Clinton marked the end of the Democratic primary Tuesday with resounding victories in the two biggest contests, taking California (475 delegates) 56-43 percent and New Jersey (126 delegates) 63-38 percent. She also won New Mexico and South Dakota, while Bernie Sanders took Montana and North Dakota.

When Clinton took the stage in Brooklyn Tuesday night, she opened her arms wide and beamed to the heavens, drinking in a moment that had escaped her grasp eight years ago.

“Tonight caps an amazing journey — a long, long journey,” she said, nearly a century after women won the right to vote nationwide. “We all owe so much to those who came before, and tonight belongs to all of you.”

The data points that matter:

By NBC's count, Clinton now has 1812 pledged delegates and 572 superdelegates, while Sanders has 1520 pledged and 46 superdelegates.

Based on primaries to date, Clinton now has 2,184 delegates — or more than half of the 4,051 total pledged delegates. Sanders has 1,804.

When including superdelegates, Clinton's lead is much bigger — 2,755 to Sanders' 1,852.

Though the AP's early call for Clinton Monday night as the presumptive nominee ruffled some feathers, Tuesday night's results consolidated her position as leader of the Democratic Party. Some people had worried that Monday's news would depress voter turnout, but for Tuesday's biggest prize—California—it was early voting that actually sealed the deal for Clinton, reports Harry Enten:

Clinton built a tremendous lead in the state from early mail-in votes, and she never relinquished it. Just after midnight, Clinton was up by 26 percentage points with over a million votes counted. By the time all the early vote was in, she was able to take that advantage up to about 400,000. That margin stayed remarkably consistent as more and more of the in-person vote was tabulated. In other words, Sanders fought Clinton to a draw among voters who cast their ballot at the polls yesterday, but the damage had been done by early voters, who tend to be older and more traditional party loyalists.

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