INDIANA RESULTS - 99% Reporting
NORTH CAROLINA RESULTS - 99% Reporting
See complete exit poll breakdown here.
And the latest state of the race:
Obama won at least 94 delegates in the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, according to an analysis of election returns by The Associated Press. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won at least 75 delegates, with 18 still to be awarded.
Sixteen of the outstanding delegates were from North Carolina and two were from Indiana.
In the overall race for the nomination, Obama led with 1,840.5 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Clinton had 1,684.
Obama was 184.5 delegates shy of the 2,025 needed to secure the Democratic nomination.
ELECTION RESULTS NEWS:
1:30 AM - Obama Shifts To General Election Mode: "The Obama campaign appears poised to begin running its general election campaign after Tuesday nights primaries seemed unlikely to change the math or the momentum in the Democratic nomination," the Wall Street Journal reports.
David Axelrod, the top Obama strategist, told reporters that Barack Obama would compete for the six remaining Democratic contests, where 217 delegates are at stake. But he said that the campaign would soon focus on the general election because likely Republican nominee John McCain had basically run free for some time now because weve been consumed with this." He added: I dont think were going to spend time solely in primary states.
Pressed by reporters whether that meant the campaign would make stops in general election states over the next month, Axelrod said: You could infer that from what I said.
1:05 AM - Pledged Delegate Race Is Over: Politico's delegate counter estimates a net +15 for Obama: Clinton +2 in Indiana, Obama +17
What's interesting if these numbers hold is that this assures that Obama will win a majority of the 3,253 pledged delegates [excluding Florida and Michigan]. He's now at 1,494. Under this set of numbers, he picks up 101 for a total of 1,595. A majority is 1,627, so he's 33 short. If you assume he makes threshold in each of the remaining 24 districts for one delegate and then picks up at least one PLEO and one at-large in each of the 6 remaining contests, he's at 1,631. The battle for the majority of pledged delegates is over.
12:30 AM - Russert: Obama Is The Nominee: "We now know who the Democratic nominee is going to be," NBC's Tim Russert just declared on MSNBC.
The Meet the Press host was referring to Barack Obama, who won a decisive victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton in today's North Carolina primary and is within just a few percentage points of her in the Indiana vote count.
The network's Chuck Todd just ran through the math and calculated that Obama now leads Clinton in the "popular vote" by about 710,000 -- and by 200,000 if the disputed primaries in Florida and Michigan are counted. He also leads by about 160 Democratic convention delegates, Todd said.
12:24 AM - The Clinton Message: From Ambinder: "And the message to the media and to the superdelegates is: Everybody, let's take a deep breath. Let's look at the results. Let's think hard about the choices we face. Let's not rush Sen. Clinton."
12:06 AM - Clinton Cancels Morning Show Apparances: So says Tim Russert on MSNBC. "It's a sign of weakness she can ill afford at a moment when questions about whether she can continue are mounting."
11:30 - Take That Wright: "How Barack Obama ended his victory speech in North Carolina: 'May God bless you and the United States of America.' Damn he's good!"
11:15 - Clinton Muted: Ben Smith:
I've been out on the road with Clinton for the past few days, during which she was perhaps the sharpest she's been in her political career. Forceful, clear, connecting intensely with her crowds, utterly at ease with her message.
Tonight, that energy has really, strikingly vanished.
Bill, behind her, is somber too. And she's promised, "no matter what happens," to work to pull the party together.
From ABC's Rick Klein:
"A hint of healing to come? "We are all on the same team." "No matter what happens, I will work for the Democratic nominee, because we must win in November."
These could be the most important lines of the night.
To me, at least, Sen. Clinton's body language tells the story -- even if you don't look at the glum expression on Bill's face. Tonight, she needed a big win in a big state -- and she's winding up with a small win, while Sen. Obama won a bigger state.
Watch her full speech:
11:10 - Kos Doesn't Want Hillary To Drop Out (Yet): "If Clinton were to drop out this week, we'd face an uncomfortable situation in West Virginia, with Clinton likely crushing Obama. That would look terrible for the presumptive nominee. Better than that would be to garner enough superdelegate commitments this week, so that Oregon can push Obama past 2,024. That way, it isn't the supers who clinch it for Obama, but actual voters."
11:04 - Gary Mayor Predicts Indiana Shocker: The Washington Post reports:
As the fate of a nailbiter Indiana primary -- and possibly the course of the Democratic race -- hung on his city, Gary Mayor Rudy Clay said just now that it might take a while yet to finish counting the vote in Lake County, which includes Gary, and said that his city had turned out so overwhelmingly for Barack Obama that it might just be enough to close the gap with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"Let me tell you, when all the votes are counted, when Gary comes in, I think you're looking at something for the word to see," Clay, an Obama supporter, said in a telephone interview from Obama's Gary headquarters. "I don't know what the numbers are yet, but Gary has absolutely produced in large numbers for Obama here."
10:24 - Clinton "Victory" Speech Delayed: So says Mark Halperin.
10:22 - Why Indiana Margin Closed: MSNBC explains how Clinton went from a double-digit lead in Indiana to a razor-thin margin.
10:14 - Obama 'Concedes' Indiana: "When Barack Obama took the stage to bask in his big victory in North Carolina's Democratic presidential primary, all but one of the television networks still were unwilling to call the day other contest, In Indiana," the LA Times notes. "But Obama showed no such hesitation, saying early in his remarks that he wanted to congratulate Hillary Clinton 'on what appears to be her victory in the great state of Indiana.'"
Here's Obama's full speech:
10:00 - How Does Clinton Win It? Obama supporter (to say the least) Andrew Sullivan writes:
There is no calculation that currently gives the Clintons a majority of the popular vote. There is now no mathematical possibility of them getting more delegates. Obama has won by far the most states. He has raised far more money; he has 1.5 million donors, mainly small sums. He has crushed her among new voters and young voters; and as a black politician, his support spans all races and classes. And recall: he is a freshman senator with a very funny name against the biggest brand name in American politics and a worldwide celebrity whose chief campaigner was a former two-term president of the United States.
9:30 - Obama Campaign's Talking Points: Lynn Sweet gets a copy:
"There really has never been any question that Senator Clinton would win Indiana," said a Obama talking points memo out Tuesday. Team Obama also blames Rush Limbaugh for urging Republicans to infiltrate the primary and vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
8:50 - Obama Camp Expects To "Clinch" On May 20: More from Ambinder:
May 20 -- that's the date when the campaign unofficially expects to "clinch" the nomination -- when they'll officially have a majority of pledged delegates, which triggers, in their view, the standard for superdelegate decision-making set by party leaders like Nancy Pelosi.
As of tonight, Obama will be between 35 and 43 pledged delegates votes away from achieving that majority.
8:30 - Obama Campaign Confident: Marc Ambinder: "The Obama campaign expects to end the night with an expanded lead in the pledged delegate count and having erased Clinton's popular vote gains out of Pennsylvania."
8:19 - Clinton Camp Raises 'Tiebreaker' Comment: An email from Clinton spokesman Phil Singer:
Senator Obama called Indiana the 'tiebreaker' for the Democratic nominating process: "You know, Sen. Clinton is more favored in Pennsylvania," he added, "and I'm right now a little more favored in North Carolina, so Indiana right now may end up being the tiebreaker. So we want to work very hard in Indiana."