Clinton Still in the Game, but Wants Rules Changed

Hillary Clinton has vowed to stay in the game, but some critics contend she is looking to change the rules.

The New York senator's resounding victory in the Kentucky primary Tuesday let "the naysayers and skeptics" know that she was still very much a candidate, she said.

She will remain in the race, but the viability of her candidacy may depend on the outcome of a meeting of Democratic Party officials to determine whether and how to count the delegates from Michigan and Florida.

In January, when Michigan and Florida held their primaries, it seemed the party's decision to strip the states of their delegates would serve as a symbolic punishment with little actual influence on the race. At that time, both Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama agreed to play by the party's rules and Obama went so far as to remove his name from the ballot in Michigan.

The race has markedly changed since then and Clinton wants the party's 30-member Rules and Bylaws Committee to overturn its decision when it meets May 30. She says the party should count all of Michigan and Florida's delegates -- 368 in all.

"Some say that counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules," she told supporters in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday. "I say that not counting Michigan and Florida is changing a central governing rule of this country."

Critics contend that Clinton's push to get the committee to overturn its decision is an attempt to change the rules midgame and a last-ditch effort to save her campaign in the face of mounting support for Obama.

"Now is not the time for our party to have a dialogue about which states should count," she said in Florida.

"We cannot move forward as a united party if some members are left out. I want to be sure all 50 states are counted and your delegates are seated at our convention." she said. "Join me in making sure your voices are raised and heard."

Clinton did not always feel so strongly. In the early days of the campaign she said Michigan would not count.

"It's clear," Clinton told New Hampshire Public Radio in the fall, "this election [Michigan is] having is not going to count for anything. I personally did not think it made any difference whether or not my name was on the ballot."

Clinton's fight may ultimately be for naught. It is doubtful that she will win enough pledged delegates and superdelegates to secure the nomination even if Michigan and Florida's delegates are counted.

After Tuesday's primaries in Kentucky and Oregon, Obama gained a majority of the available pledged delegates, a symbolic milestone that may influence many of the undecided superdelegates both candidates need to secure the nomination.

ABC News has crunched the numbers and even with Michigan and Florida included Obama has a significant lead in delegates.

"In the total universe of delegates, there are 311 outstanding: 217 of those are as of yet uncommitted superdelegates, 94 are thus far unallocated pledged delegates from last night's contest in Oregon and the upcoming three contests in Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Montana," wrote David Chalian, ABC News political director.

Clinton needs 84 percent of all the remaining delegates -- pledged and superdelegates -- to hit 2,026, the magic number needed to lock up the nomination.

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