Barack Obama clinches Democratic nomination

June 4th, 2008 - 9:11 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 4 (DPA) Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night after a five-month battle with Hillary Clinton, becoming the first African American to lead a major political party into a general election in the US. Obama captured the majority of delegates needed to win the party’s nod, according to unofficial counts by US broadcast networks, on the final day of primaries in the five-month-old battle with Hillary Clinton.

His victory was projected immediately after polls closed in South Dakota Tuesday night, which along with Montana held the last in the series of state-by-state contests that began with Iowa on Jan 3.

Clinton has yet to officially concede defeat, though her campaign suggested earlier Tuesday that the former first lady would bow out if Obama passed the mark of 2,118 delegates required to win the nomination outright.

Obama was to hold a major victory rally in St Paul, Minnesota. Clinton planned to speak before supporters in New York.

Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe had said if Obama does secure the required number of delegates, Clinton would likely acknowledge his win.

“If Senator Obama gets the number, I think Hillary Clinton will congratulate him and call him the nominee,” Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe told broadcaster NBC.

Throughout the day a handful of super delegates - party leaders and activists that cast their votes independently of the state primaries - switched their allegiance to Obama, bringing him within 10 delegates of the clinching number before polls had even closed in South Dakota and Montana.

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