The center of the Democratic political universe shifts from Grand Forks, ND on Friday to Butte, MT on Saturday. (Yes, North Dakota and Montana)
With its 10pm ET poll closing time on June 3, Montana officially ends the 2008 Democratic nomination calendar.
But whether or not the race ends that week may come down to the 320 or so remaining uncommitted superdelegates and/or how strong the pressure is on Hillary Clinton to get out if she is trailing in the popular vote count.
Both Clinton and Barack Obama will address Montana Democrats at the party's annual Mansfield-Metcalf dinner at the Butte Civic Center on Saturday night.
The state party is expecting a crowd of about 4,000 and the event features Montana political celebs like Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Gov. Brian Schweitzer (who are all still uncommitted as superdelegates) and a guest appearance by South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (an Obama supporter).
There are nine superdelegates in Montana and only two have endorsed. Both Ed Tinsley and John Melcher are backing Obama. Melcher just announced his endorsement on Wednesday so he probably guaranteed himself some significant face time with the Illinois senator on Saturday night.
Former President Bill Clinton heads to sunny Puerto Rico on Saturday to speak to the Puerto Rican Manufacturers Association in San Juan and attend campaign events for his wife.
There are 55 delegates at stake in Puerto Rico on June 1, which is more than the delegates at stake on voting days in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. There are three uncommitted Puerto Rican superdelegates who could be swayed by a visit from the former president.
Speaking of superdelegates…the gap between Obama and Clinton is the closest it has ever been, with Clinton clinging to a lead of just 30 superdelegates in the ABC News delegate estimate.
Obama has been steadily closing that margin since Feb. 5 – he has gained 66 superdelegates since Super Tuesday while Clinton has a net loss of seven (she gained four but lost 11).
Of the 794 total superdelegates, 75 are add-on delegates that have not yet been named. Those add-ons will be selected at state conventions between now and June.
Obama could shrink that superdelegate gap even more by the end of the weekend when six add-ons are named at state conventions in Washington, D.C. (2), Delaware (1), Missouri (2) and North Dakota (1).
Obama won all four of these states, so if the add-on delegates fall in line with the state vote, then Obama could pick up six new superdelegates by the end of the weekend.
Some fun facts on superdelegates to get you through the weekend:
- There are 124 total superdelegates from the remaining 10 states
- Just under half remain (54) remain uncommitted
- Clinton has 32 superdelegates in states that have yet to vote and Obama has 26.
Sen. Evan Bayh joined Gov. Jon Corzine, Gov. Martin O'Malley, and Rep. John Murtha as another Clinton supporter who is pointing to the popular vote as a good barometer for superdelegates once voting ends on June 3.
But Bayh went a step further than the others and said in an interview with Al Hunt of Bloomberg TV, Bayh said Clinton needs to "win a clear majority" of the 10 remaining primaries and caucuses.
"She needs to continue to narrow the gap or openly – and I think this is important – win the popular vote. If at the end of this, you add up all 50 states and she has gotten more votes than Barrack, that is a very strong ground to stand on. The delegates really are proxies for the voters. And so I would look at the popular vote."
McCain Tour Ends in Arizona
John McCain's biography tour winds down in his home state of Arizona on Saturday. The last stop on the "Service to America" tour is in Prescott where the presumptive Republican nominee will talk about bipartisanship and putting the country ahead of politics.
McCain will deliver remarks on the steps of the Yavapai County courthouse, where fellow Arizonan Barry Goldwater announced his own presidential run in 1964.
McCain will talk about the relationship between Goldwater and Rep. Mo Udall as an example of bipartisanship.
An excerpt from Saturday's speech:
"We have many challenges before our country, both at home and abroad: challenges such as entitlement reform, energy independence, health care, the housing crisis, and a global threat from Islamic extremists, to name a few of the most important, that require a strict attention to our responsibilities as public servants and our recognition that we cannot discharge those responsibilities to the satisfaction of the people we serve unless we work cooperatively across party lines without compromising our principles. Despite the increasing harshness of our debates, and the lack of respect it often occasions for each side's good will, I still believe we can and must come together to on issues that cannot be addressed without our cooperation. Mo Udall and Barry Goldwater taught me to believe that we are Americans first and partisans second, and I want to be a President that honors their faith in us."
Before all Democratic political eyes turn to Montana, ABC News' Ed O'Keefe, a proud North Dakotan, asks the question: Why are the Democratic candidates coming to Grand Forks, a city of 50,000 people in a state that has awarded its three electoral votes to a Democratic contender only three times in history and only once since 1964? Oh yeah, and they've already voted for Barack Obama in their Super Tuesday caucuses.
On the campaign front. . .
-- 12:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Missoula, MT
-- 12:30 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Hillsboro, OR
-- 4:30 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Eugene, OR
-- Attends summit on the issues of globalization, climate change, and poverty, London, UK
As for the Republicans. . .
-- 1:00 pm ET: Delivers speech to voters at event, Prescott, AZ
At the White House and Beyond. . .
-- 3:40 am ET: Meets with the Prime Minister of Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia
-- 4:40 am ET: Delivers remarks, Zagreb, Croatia
-- 5:50 am ET: Photo opportunity with NATO invitees, Zagreb, Croatia
-- 6:05 am ET: Attends working luncheon with NATO invitees, Zagreb, Croatia
-- 12:00 pm ET: Attends social dinner with President Putin of Russia, Sochi, Russia
Sunday, April 6, 2008
BILL CLINTON -- 7:00 pm ET: Delivers speech to the Puerto Rican Manufacturers Association, San Juan, PR
As for the Republicans. . .
-- Appears on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace
At the White House and Beyond. . .
-- 2:00 am ET: Meets with President Putin of Russia, Sochi, Russia
-- 3:05 am ET: Meets with the President-elect of Russia, Sochi, Russia
-- 3:55 am ET: Holds media availability with President Putin, Sochi, Russia
-- 4:25 am ET: Attends working luncheon with President Putin, Socihi, Russia
Monday, April 7, 2008
-- 1:00 pm ET: Attends fundraiser with supporters, Kansas City, MO
At the White House and Beyond. . .
-- 1:15 pm ET: Meets with small and medium sized business owner on the economic stimulus package, Washington, DC
-- 2:05 pm ET: Holds photo opportunity and delivers remarks to the 2007 NCAA football champions, Washington, DC
FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH
-- 10:45 am ET: Provides welcome and hosts a performance of One Destiny, Washington, DC
-- 7:30 pm ET: Delivers remarks at the 2008 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards Gala, Washington, DC
GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN
-- 6:00 pm ET: Attends rally and fundraising reception with supporters, Oklahoma City, OK
FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD
-- 3:00 pm ET: Releases the report on consumer credit for February, Washington, DC
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Kate Snow and Eloise Harper Report: Clintons Report $109 Million in Gross Income LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: "The Awful Grace of God": Robert Kennedy on MLK, April 4, 1968 LINK
ABC News' Pierre Thomas Reports: What Would Dr. King Think of America Today? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Does John McCain Need to Give a Speech on Race? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Hillary's Chief Strategist Promotes Trade Deal with Colombia While Hillary Opposes It LINK
ABC News' Justin Rood Reports: Like Clinton, Obama Attended "Shadowy" Group's Prayer Meetings LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Clinton Top Aide Working to Help Colombian Trade Deal She Opposes, Part II LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Obama's Big Bucks LINK
ABC News' Marcus Baram Reports: Clinton Fundraiser Accused of Fraud LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Clinton's Poverty Czar Proposal LINK
ABC News' Eloise Harper and Sunlen Miller Report: Candidates Remember King, Clinton Chokes Up LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Pentagon Computers Removes Mention of Dead Solder's Sexual Orientation LINK
ABC News' Jan Simmonds Reports: McCain Regrets MLK Vote LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: President Bush's Inner-City Wish LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos Reports: Bill Clinton Honors MLK, Says Hillary's Road to White House Never Easy LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: John Legend: "The People Who Wouldn't Vote for a Person Because They're Black Wouldn't Vote for a Democrat Anyway" LINK
ABC News' Jan Simmonds Reports: McCain Says Secret Service Protection Begin "Very Soon" LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: A Poverty of Confidence LINK
ABC News' Jennifer Duck Reports: WH Press Distracted by Magic Flute LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Harry Reid: Nominee Will Be Chosen before July 1 LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
'The Note' Rewinds the Week's Best Moments
ABC News' Senior Political Reporter Rick Klein on the weekly political roundup. LINK
Clinton Tears Up Over MLK
During a speech in TN, Sen. Clinton remembers the day MLK was assassinated. LINK
McCain Booed in Memphis
Sen. McCain admits he was initially against making MLK Day a national holiday. LINK
Clinton Plays the Comedian
Senator pokes fun at herself on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." LINK
WH Press Corps Distracted By Magic Flute
Romanian Pan flute virtuoso Zamfir entertains the White House press in Bucharest. LINK
Bottom Line on Democratic Cash
George Stephanopoulos discusses the campaigns' fundraising efforts. LINK
Obama's Big Bucks
The Illinois senator is ahead of Sen. Hillary Clinton in campaign fundraising. LINK
What Are the Democrats Doing to Win?
George Stephanopoulos dissects the arguments used in the fight to win delegates LINK
Clinton Loosing Support
Supporters say they'll lose confidence if she loses overall national vote. LINK