Clinton set to become first woman nominated by major party

Mrs. Clinton reportedly gained the 2,383 delegates needed to become the Democratic nominee, eight years after conceding to Barack Obama.

John Locher/AP
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (c.) visits a community center, Monday, in Compton, Calif. Mrs. Clinton secured enough delegates and superdelegates to win the Democratic nomination ahead of California's highly anticipated primary, according to the Associated Press.

Eight years after conceding the 2008 nomination to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton is set to become the first woman nominated by a major political party for president.

Ahead of primaries in California, New Jersey, and four other states on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton has gained the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic nominee by gaining a mixture of delegates and superdelegates, according to an Associated Press tally.

While she been embroiled in a sometimes-contentious battle with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) of Vt. for pledged delegates that come with victories in each state, Clinton has gained the support of the majority of superdelegates, the politicians and party officials who can back a candidate of their choice.

On the campaign trail, she has held back from fully declaring victory, but told supporters she was on the brink of a "historic, unprecedented moment" as the first woman to lead a major political party. "We're going to fight hard for every single vote," Clinton told a cheering crowd during a campaign stop in California. 

Ahead of Tuesday’s primaries, she has 1,812 pledged delegates and the support of 571 of the 714 superdelegates, according to the AP.

While superdelegates can change their minds ahead of the party's convention in Philadelphia in July, some superdelegates included in Clinton's tally have told the AP they will unequivocally support her through the convention.

At a rally Monday evening in San Francisco, Senator Sanders said a victory in California, which has 475 pledged delegates up for grabs, would give him "enormous momentum" in his effort to continue the primary into a fight at the convention.

Sanders is urging superdelegates to drop their support for Clinton ahead of the convention, as he has said he is a stronger challenger to take on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

But there were also some signs he is reconsidering his standing in the race, particularly having failed to sway the superdelegates, which are a feature unique to the Democratic party. He told reporters he plans to return to Vermont on Wednesday and "assess where we are" following the results in California.

He also spoke over the weekend with President Obama, who has mostly stayed out of the Democratic primary so far, but is poised to endorse Clinton as early as this week, the AP reports.

"The president intends certainly through the fall, if not earlier, to engage in this campaign," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. "That's an opportunity the president relishes."

Clinton's apparent clinching of the required delegates comes eight years to the day after she conceded the nomination to then-Senator Obama in an emotional speech. They had fought an intense battle for the nomination, she said then, but she had been unable to "shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling."

This contest has at times been equally bitter for Clinton, rocked by events such as a controversy around her use of private email as Secretary of State.

On Monday, she reflected on finally breaking through that barrier. "It's really emotional," Clinton said in California. "I'm someone who has been very touched and really encouraged by this extraordinary conviction that people have."

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