Democrats Approach Primary Finish Line

Battle for Democratic nomination unlikely to reach convention floor.

ByABC News via logo
May 27, 2008, 7:57 AM

May 27, 2008 — -- The Democratic primary war will end within days of next week's final primary votes when "several dozen" superdelegates will end their silence and endorse Sen. Barack Obama, ABC's chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos reported Tuesday.

When asked by "Good Morning America" what the chances are of Sen. Hillary Clinton continuing her fight for the nomination into the Democrats' August convention, Stephanopoulos replied, "Zero."

"There's so many superdelegates out there who agreed with what Jimmy Carter said," Stephanopoulos said. Former President Carter said last week that once the voting was over he felt that "at that point it will be time for her to give it up."

"Once these contests are done, you'll see several dozen superdelegates go his [Obama's] way following June 3," Stephanopoulos said.

That surge of support will be enough to put Obama's delegate count over the top and allow him to claim the nomination, he said.

In Puerto Rico with her family, Clinton continued to hold out hope and to jab at Obama.

"The real test is not what we say, but what we do. The real challenge is how we cannot just make speeches that contain promise, but deliver on those promises. It is for me a sacred obligation," Clinton said.

Her long-shot bid now boils down to three key dates this week.

Saturday: The Democratic National Committee will decide what to do about the delegates from Michigan and Florida, which held early contests not recognized by the party.

The ruling could change the number of delegates needed to win the nomination.

"What's almost certain is the DNC will not do what the Clinton campaign wants, which is reinstate Florida and Michigan," Stephanopoulos said on "Good Morning America."

He describes "the most likely outcomes" as a "calculation that penalizes Michigan and Florida by 50 percent."

Clinton won both states, although the candidates had agreed not to campaign there and the national party said their votes wouldn't count. Clinton is hoping those states get included to boost her delegate count and push her popular vote total ahead of Obama's.

In South Dakota this weekend, former President Clinton touted his wife as the best Democrat to take on presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain in the general election.

"They're trying to get her to cry uncle before the Democratic Party has to decide what to do in Florida and Michigan because they are claiming that it only takes 2,029 votes on the first ballot to win, and it takes a lot more than that if you put Florida and Michigan back in," Clinton said. "They will have to [include Florida and Michigan] unless we want to lose the election."

Sunday: The Puerto Rico primary. Campaigning in the U.S. territory where 55 pledged delegates are at stake, Clinton has been defending the island's right to vote though citizens of Puerto Rico do not pay federal income taxes.

"I believe it is long past time that we give the people of Puerto Rico, U.S. citizens all, an equal voice in the vote for the commander in chief who sends young Puerto Ricans to war," the New York senator said.

Clinton is favored to win in Puerto Rico.

June 3: The final two contests in Montana and South Dakota, where 31 pledged delegates are at stake.