June 7th was a big day for Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Both the former Secretary of State and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who have been locked in a tight Presidential primary battle, have been looking toward this day with much anticipation. Up for grabs on the June 7th, primary calendar were New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and California. This totaled 694 pledged delegates up for grabs on, which many have believed could seal in Clinton as the presumptive Democratic nominee. After these primaries, only the District of Columbia would be left to vote.
As the polling stations began to close in these six states and numbers began rolling in, things were looking up for Clinton. By the end of the night, Clinton had won California, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, while Sanders won North Dakota and Montana. By the end of the evening, even as numbers were still rolling in, it became clear that Hillary Clinton would earn enough delegates to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for President.
The tricky thing about the Democratic Party’s Presidential Primary race, however, is that there are pledged delegates who come from state primaries, as well as superdelegates, who are party leaders that also vote at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Superdeleagtes make up 15% of the voting power at the DNC and are able to change their mind up to the day of the election when they cast their vote. In order to win the Democratic Primary, a candidate needs 2,383 total delegates.
On Monday, June 6th, the Associated Press, along with other news outlets, had already announced Clinton’s presumptive candidacy, ahead of the 6-state Tuesday primaries. This was based on a poll of superdelegates, showing that, if they vote the same way, the superdelegates would allow Clinton enough delegates to win the nomination. Sanders and his supporters, however, have rejected this projection, stating that delegate votes are not locked in stone.
Of the issue, Sanders’ campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs told the Associated Press, “It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer.”
After Tuesday’s primary results, however, it seems less likely that Sanders will be able to take the nomination. While he has yet to concede, Clinton also took a few days to do so in 2008 after now President Barack Obama was named the presumptive candidate. Should he wish to, Sanders could remain in the race until the DNC, making it a contested convention. And while the AP story may have been published too soon, as of now, it appears that Clinton is the presumptive candidate.