It may not have been the immediate flood that pundits, politicos and partisans were expecting after the results were in from Tuesday's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina but now it looks like the pace of superdelegates swinging to Barack Obama is quickening and he's building a lead over Hillary Clinton.
Obama picked up seven superdelegates today – his biggest one-day haul since the battle for superdelegates intensified in the nomination race.
Since Tuesday's results, Obama has picked up 13 new superdelegates. Clinton has netted zero – she was endorsed by Reps Heath Shuler, D-NC, and Chris Carney, D-PA, but she lost two superdelegates who switched to Obama. Obama now has a lead of 170 total delegates in the ABC News delegate estimate.
ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports that Obama addressed his surge in superdelegates today on the campaign trail:
"I'm gratified that we've got some superdelegates that are coming our way. And I think we've got a strong case to make that I will be a nominee that can pull the party together and take on John McCain in the fall. Our focus has always been on the pledged delegates and just getting the American people to vote for us and we think that ultimately that should be the strongest measure of whose the nominee, but if superdelegates also feel that we're going to be a strong candidate then I'm very pleased with that."
West Virginia is the next state to vote, with a primary on Tuesday May 13. There are still six uncommitted superdelegates from the Mountain State – both Clinton and Obama each have two superdelegates already.
Add-on superdelegate watch:
The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee meets on Saturday and will elect two add-on superdelegates. This could be interesting – who does the party elect? Clinton won the state 57-41 percent on Feb. 5 but Obama has the support of the Democratic elected leaders – Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. John Kerry and Gov. Deval Patrick.
One add-on superdelegate will be appointed at the Utah Democratic Convention on Friday evening. Obama won the state 57-40 on Feb. 5.
Pivoting to the General?
Obama may have said today that he and Clinton are "still in the middle of the race," it did not seem like that in his remarks at a campaign event in Beaverton, OR.
ABC News' Miller reports that while Obama launched a "point by point breakdown" of his differences with John McCain on the economy, health care and gas prices, one name was notably not part of his prepared remarks – Hillary Clinton.
Miller notes that this is another signal that Obama is "quickly shifting gears toward his general election strategy."
"Senator McCain is running for President to double down on George Bush's failed policies. I am running to change them, and that will be the fundamental difference in this election when I am the Democratic nominee for President," Obama said at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon.
Cheney on the trail
Vice President Cheney steps into campaign season on Monday with remarks at a rally for Republican congressional candidate Greg Davis in Southaven, MS. Davis is running in Tuesday's special election against Democrat Travis Childers.
In an interview with Mississippi radio host Paul Gallow, Cheney stressed the importance of Republicans holding this seat.
"It's been in conservative hands for a long time, and we'd hate to see the liberals gain control," Cheney said.