Tuesday's contests: 31 delegates at stake
SOUTH DAKOTA - closed
Polls open: 8:00 AM ET
Polls close: 9:00 PM ET
15 delegates at stake, proportional
MONTANA - open
Polls open: 9:00 AM ET
Polls close: 10:00 PM ET
16 delegates at stake, proportional
Barack Obama is now just 37.5 delegates away from the DNC's magic number to win the Democratic nomination, in the ABC News delegate estimate.
Obama picked up 12 superdelegates today, including the respected civil rights leader and No. 3 in the House, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. Clyburn will formally endorse Obama on Tuesday morning and ABC News' Jake Tapper reports that Clyburn is calling other superdelegates today to get them on board before the primary season wraps up tomorrow.
Tapper reports that Clyburn had expressed concern about the negative tone of the Democratic nomination race and has criticized how Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign has dealt with Obama.
So will other uncommitted superdelegates follow Clyburn's lead and come out tomorrow? Many have said repeatedly that they would wait until voting ends, but that doesn't mean they have to wait until the polls close tomorrow night. Obama's supporters are putting the lean on some uncommitteds who have been privately backing Obama through this process. The message: If you support him, make it count and come out tomorrow to put him over the threshold.
Obama himself said today that the remaining uncommitteds will be making the decision "fairly quickly" after the final primaries in South Dakota and Montana on Tuesday, ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports.
"We feel good about the number of supderdelegates that we have been accumulating and my sense is that between Tuesday and Wednesday that we've got a good chance of getting the number that we need to win the nomination."
Tomorrow night, Obama will speak in the Excel Center in St. Paul, MN, in the same building where John McCain will accept the Republican nomination at the party's convention in September, as he wraps up the primary season in a general election battleground state
Will the speech be a victory speech? That of course depends on how many superdelegates come out for Obama in the next 24 hours. Obama is favored to win both primaries tomorrow night, but there are only 31 pledged delegates at stake, so the superdelegates will be the deciding factor.
Even if Obama hits that magic number of 2118, that does not mean the Clinton campaign will consider the race over. The New York senator picked up two new superdelegates today, but she is 205.5 delegates away from the nomination.
"I think its pretty clear that she is not conceding." Clinton spokesperson Mo Elleithee said today, per ABC News' Eloise Harper. "I think its pretty clear that she is staying in this race. She is going, in the coming days, to be aggressively courting uncommitted superdelegates aggressively courting unpledged delegates, making the case to them that she is a candidate best ready to take on John McCain."
ABC News' Kate Snow reports that Clinton staffers were sent an email inviting them to New York for the primary night party or they could go home and wait for further instructions. The kicker? Expense reports are due by Friday.
On ABC's World News, George Stephanopoulos highlighted key points to keep in mind over the next couple of day:
- Candidates' schedules: Obama will be in New York on Wednesday -- will he have an event with Clinton on her home turf on Thursday? Clinton has nothing on her schedule after Wednesday.
- What does Rahm do? Chicago Rep. Emanuel is a former close aide to former President Clinton but is also close to Obama. Could Emanuel be the bridge that brings the two sides together? (The heated comments from the former president reported by the Huffington Post show that this is no easy task.)
What to look for in South Dakota and Montana
1. South Dakota is overwhelmingly rural and white, but Obama is favored to win there. He has the support of George McGovern, Sen. Tim Johnson, Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
2. South Dakota Democrats typically live in the eastern part of the state and that's where the primary will be won. The power of that region has been felt before. Democratic operatives sensed Daschle's 2004 reelection campaign was in trouble when they saw he was only winning the east by a slim margin. Keep an eye on Minnehaha, Codington and Brown counties. Missoula County is home to the University of Montana, another stronghold for Obama.
3. How do Native-Americans vote? Native Americans make up 6 percent of Montana's population, according to the 2000 census, and are likely to vote at a proportionally higher level in a Democratic primary.
4. Endorsements from the Big Three in Montana? Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Sen. Jon Tester, and Sen. Max Baucus remain uncommitted in the presidential race. Schweitzer and Tester are likely to back the winner of the state's primary.
TV ad spending spree After five months of primaries and caucuses, the money the candidates spent on television really adds up, ABC News' Tahman Bradley reports. This primary season, the presidential hopefuls spent almost $200 million on television ads, while interest groups spent nearly $8 million, according to an new study by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG with analysis by the Wisconsin Advertising Project.
Read it here.
Bradley reports that unsurprisingly, the study finds that Democratic candidates spent more than their Republican counterparts on TV advertising. The Democrats combined to spend $136.9 million, while Republicans spent $57.5 million. Also not that shocking -- the biggest TV spenders: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. With close to $75 million dished out for television ads, Obama outspent the entire Republican presidential field by $18 million, Bradley reports.
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Jake Tapper: James Clyburn to Endorse Barack Obama LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos: Bill Clinton: 'This May Be the Last Day I'm Ever Involved in a Campaign of This Kind' LINK
ABC News' Kate Snow and Eloise Harper: Clinton Spokesperson: She Is Not Conceding LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Clinton May Challenge Party's Delegate Math LINK
ABC News' Kate Snow and Sarah Amos: Clinton Campaign Shows Signs of Slowing LINK
ABC News' Bret Hovell: McCain criticizes Obama, proposes Iranian sanctions at AIPAC LINK
ABC News' Evan Harris: Presidential Race Dominated by Lefties LINK
ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton Says No Nominee on Tuesday -- Makes Direct Appeal to Superdelegates LINK
ABC News' Gary Langer: Dicing the Democratic Vote LINK
ABC News' Dan Childs: Brain Surgery: What Kennedy Experienced LINK
ABC News' Tahman Bradley: Article: Friends Feared New Clinton Bimbo Eruptions LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama: Clinton and I Will Be Working Together in Nov. LINK
ABC News' Tahman Bradley: Candidates Drop Big Dough on TV LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama Congratulates Clinton for Puerto Rico Victory LINK
ABC News' Teddy Davis, John Santucci and Gregory Wallace: Obama Backs Florida Compromise LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper, George Stephanopoulos, and Sunlen Miller: Obama Quits His Church LINK
ABC News' Teddy Davis and Karen Travers: Obama Won't Wait for Clinton Concession LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama on McCain's Troop Level Comment: 'We've Seen This Movie Before' LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: The "Disenfranchised" Who Didn't Vote at All LINK
ABC News' Teddy Davis and Gregory Wallace: Dems Behind Closed Doors Till 1:30 a.m., With Still No Consensus LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Rev. Pfleger: "America is the Greatest Sin Against God" LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama Hits McCain on Veterans Benefits LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Ickes Sees "Perversion" at the DNC Meeting LINK
ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton Blows Kisses to the Citizens of Puerto Rico LINK
ABC News' Teddy Davis and John Santucci: Obama and Clinton Camps Dig in on Michigan LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: The Protests Outside LINK
ABC News' Eloise Harper: Hillary Clinton's Idea of Fun... LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos: Bill Clinton Thinks Primary Process Will Have 'Unusual Outcome' LINK
ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton Speaks at Puerto Rican Medical Center Before Hitting Flat Bed Truck for Canvassing LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Minnesota Feminist Leader Will Not Vote for Obama, Doesn't Care If McCain Wins LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama Eyeing Spot on Mount Rushmore? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: A Clinton Hurricane Hits Outside the DNC Hearing Room LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
Viva Puerto Rico
Clinton won the hearts of Puerto Rico, but it won't alter Obama's lead. LINK
Race and the Church
Father Beck and NPR's Juan Williams provide perspective on Father Pfleger. LINK
Ted Kennedy: Surgery for Tumor
The Democratic senator undergoes brain surgery at Duke Medical Center today. LINK
Bill References 'Last Day' of Campaign
Clinton: "This may be the last day I'm ever involved in a campaign" like this. LINK
McCain Offers Tough Line on Iran
McCain hits Obama on foreign policy approach and proposes Iranian sanctions. LINK
Down to the Delegates
Superdelegate Donna Brazile discusses the state of the Democratic Party. LINK
One Day of Voting Left
George Stephanopoulos analyses what's ahead for Democratic candidates. LINK
Superdelegates Taking Sides
Undecided delegates are center of attention as primaries end. LINK
How Will the Democratic Contest End?
Sen. Clinton still seeking superdelegates as clock winds down. LINK
Hillary Wins Puerto Rico
The N.Y. senator may have won but is it too little too late? LINK
Obama Looks Ahead
While campaigning in So. Dakota the Ill. senator plans strategy for November. LINK
Mark Halperin Weighs In
The ABC political analyst discusses the Democratic race. LINK
Obama Adviser on Trinity, Dem Unity
Obama communications director Robert Gibbs on Obama's decision to leave church. LINK
McAuliffe: Clinton Eyes 'Magic Number'
Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe: DNC decision not the "party I know." LINK
Dean Dishes on DNC Meeting
DNC leaders see deal on Fla., Mich as important step in healing the party. LINK
Roundtable: McClellan and Sexism
George Will, Donna Brazile, David Brooks and Todd Purdum. LINK
Green Room: Good Day for Equality?
Behind the scenes with George Will, Donna Brazile, David Brooks and Todd Purdum. LINK