Obama Reaches Pledged Delegate Majority

By Ed O'Keefe

May 20, 2008 11:30pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers Reports: Barack Obama has been allocated 24 pledged delegates so far tonight and now claims a majority of the pledged delegates at stake in Democratic nominating contests, according to the ABC News delegate estimate. Delegates continue to be allocated as the results come in from the Oregon Democratic primary.

There are 3253 total pledged delegates –- 1627 is a majority.

Obama has not secured the Democratic nomination –- he is still 86 delegates away from reaching the DNC’s magic number of 2026 to win the nomination.

The Obama campaign hopes that reaching this marker will be a convincing argument for the remaining 200 uncommitted superdelegates – to follow the will of the voters and support him.

Obama spoke Des Moines, Iowa, the place where he started his path to the Democratic nomination back in January.

In those remarks, Obama stopped short of declaring victory in the nomination fight but did note the pledged delegate milestone.

"And tonight, in the fullness of spring, with the help of those who stood up from Portland to Louisville, we have returned to Iowa with a majority of delegates elected by the American people, and you have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination for President of the United States," he said.

The Obama campaign is mindful of the fact that there are three more primaries on the calendar, that Hillary Clinton shows no signs of dropping out of the race before June 3 and that they don’t want to be seen as pushing her off the stage. Campaign officials have stressed that tonight marks a milestone in the nomination process but not the coronation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in March that the superdelegates should back the pledged delegate leader.

"If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what’s happened in the elections," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said to ABC News, "it would be harmful to the Democratic Party."

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