The Note: Clinton Hits the Magic Number

ByABC News
June 7, 2016, 9:23 AM


--CLINTON CLINCHES: Hillary Clinton hit the delegate threshold to clinch the Democratic nomination, according to ABC News estimates based on additional superdelegates allotted by the Associated Press last night, ABCs MEGHAN KENEALLY reports. Hundreds of those included in the count are unbound superdelegates, but even losses in California and elsewhere for Clinton today, while not anticipated, will not change that outcome. This leaves Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, and makes her poised to become the first woman to secure a major-party presidential nomination in American history.

--WHAT CLINTON SAID: Closing off her five-day, jam-packed campaign swing through California, Hillary Clinton last night made an appearance alongside celebrities like Cher, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, John Legend, Stevie Wonder and Shonda Rhimes at a fundraising concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, ABCs LIZ KREUTZ notes. Clinton did not make any mention of the fact that she reached the delegates needed for the nomination during her remarks. (But, interestingly, nearly every speaker who spoke ahead of her did). Its a really big deal for California to vote because California is about the future, Clinton told the crowd. California is going to help us make the future that we want for every person in this country and were going to come out of the primary even stronger to take on Donald Trump.

--WHAT THE SANDERS CAMP SAID: "It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committees clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer," the Sanders camp said in a statement, ABCs TOM LIDDY reported. "Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then."

--SANDERS VOWS TO FIGHT: Standing with the Golden Gate Bridge dramatically breaking through the fog behind him last night, Bernie Sanders drew differences between his policy proposals and those of Clinton's and highlighted the strengths of his campaign, including his small-dollar donations, while criticizing Clinton for her Super PAC money, ABCs MARYALICE PARKS notes. "Tomorrow in the most important primary in the whole Democratic nominating process. We are going to win here in California," Sanders said. Sanders has promised for weeks to spend the summer working to flip party superdelegates, who do not technically vote until the Democratic National Convention in July, and Monday the senator said that much of his future strategy hinged on the results in California. 

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: If delegates didn't exist, and the popular vote alone counted, Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. If superdelegates didn't exist, and only pledged delegates determined the outcome, Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. If only superdelegates mattered, and party insiders alone chose the presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. As it is, under the set of rules all candidates knew were in place when they entered the race, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Bernie Sanders has railed against a "rigged" system and a closed process he says disenfranchises his supporters. But the fact is that, where the world now stands, the only way Sanders can become the Democratic nominee is if party insiders rig the process for him. Sanders is free to make his case to superdelegates up through the convention. But he'll be hard-pressed to make a coherent argument about how party insiders shouldn't dominate the process - yet should also make him the Democratic nominee.


ON GMA: PELOSI 'PROUD TO ENDORSE' HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed Hillary Clinton for president this morning on "Good Morning America" before her home state's primary today, ABCs BENJAMIN SIEGEL notes. "I'm a voter in California and I have voted for Hillary Clinton for president of the United States and proud to endorse her for that position," the Democratic superdelegate said, though adding "it's not over until it's over." Pelosi, who did not formally endorse in the 2008 Democratic primary, has praised Sen. Bernie Sanders' primary campaign and the excitement the Vermont senator has generated among younger voters. In an interview with ABC News George Stephanopoulos today, Pelosi said she believes Sanders will be a constructive force before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. "Bernie knows better than anyone what's on the line in the election and that we at some point have to unify as we go forward," she said. "He wants to influence the platform. I think thats fine."


POLLING NOTE: A LOOKAHEAD TO THE MAIN EVENT. With Hillary Clinton poised to claim the Democratic nomination this evening, basic questions loom over her anticipated general election contest against Donald Trump. Will Bernie Sanders supporters line up behind her? And how will she stack up against Trump on key issues and personal attributes as voters make their choices in the months ahead? Our most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll helps sets the scene, supported by exit poll results from the primary season and past years. A summary of central considerations follows, courtesy of ABCs GARY LANGER:

--SANDERS VOTERS: Twenty percent of Sanders supporters in ABC/Post polling say theyd vote for Trump over Clinton -- a result that may reflect the unsettled nature of the Democratic race rather than durable support for Trump in this group. Consider the similarities to this point in 2008, when 24 percent of Clinton supporters said theyd vote for John McCain over Barack Obama. It didnt happen; her voters got over their loss and ultimately backed the partys nominee.

--YOUNG VOTERS: Voters under age 30 have been huge for Sanders; hes won them by 71-28 percent against Clinton in primaries for which we have exit poll results. And they may have an especially hard time getting over his likely defeat at Clintons hands. We say so because under-30s moved from 64-25 percent Clinton-Trump in March to 45-42 percent in May, suggesting resentment as Clintons moved ahead of their true love, Sanders. She needs them back: Under-30s were huge for Obama in 2008 (a record 66-32 percent) and 2012 (60-37 percent) alike, an essential element of his winning coalition in both elections.



WHAT IT WOULD TAKE FOR SANDERS TO WIN NOW. The Vermont senator's chances have dwindled from slim to virtually none over the course of the last several weeks, now giving way to Clinton reaching the magic number of delegates needed to win the Democratic bid. The number of delegates that Clinton has amassed as of Monday night factors in 23 additional superdelegates, according to the Associated Press, bringing the total to 571. According to the latest ABC News estimate, Clinton has 2,383 total delegates (1,812 pledged and 571 super) and Sanders has 1,570 (1,522 pledged and 48 super). Here's what Sanders would need to win the nomination at this point, according to ABCs RYAN STRUYK:

TRUMP ORDERS SURROGATES TO DEFEND HIM ON JUDGE ISSUE. As Donald Trump endures fierce scrutiny for comments he made about the judge presiding over a case against his now-shuttered school, the presumptive nominee told top supporters and surrogates to defend him on television and in interviews. In a conference call Monday, Trump spoke personally to those tasked with defending him for comments he made about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, which intimated that the American-born judge had bias against him because of his plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and should not preside over his case due to his Mexican heritage. "We will overcome, Trump said, according to one source on the call. And Ive always won and Im going to continue to win. And thats the way it is." Sources tell ABCs CANDACE SMITH and JOHN SANTUCCI the discussion was productive, and Trump wanted to give those on the call insight on how to defend him.

NOTED: MORE REPUBLICANS CRITICIZE TRUMP OVER JUDGE COMMENTS. The list of Republicans who are criticizing Trump for the comments continues to grow. John Kasich, the governor of Ohio and a former rival of Trump's for the GOP presidential nomination, was among those raising his concerns yesterday, posting on Twitter that Trump should apologize. ABCs MEGHAN KENEALLY explains that other Republican leaders, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have distanced themselves from Trump's comments.

OBAMA PREPARING TO ENDORSE. President Obama is preparing to endorse his partys presumptive nominee and assume a more active role in the 2016 campaign -- a move which could come as soon as Wednesday, the White House has signaled. Administration officials are mum on an exact time frame for the presidents endorsement but have said Obama would weigh in after the Democratic voters have made their preference clear. I think we'll probably have a pretty good sense next week of who the nominee will end up being, Obama told a PBS town hall on June 1. ABCs DEVIN DWYER, JOHN PARKINSON, ARLETTE SAENZ report, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that the candidate with the majority of pledged and super-delegates has a pretty strong case to make to be the partys nominee.

CLINTONS 10 SHARPEST NEW ZINGERS ABOUT TRUMP. Unfit. Dangerous. Bizarre. Demagogue. Dictator. These are just some of the words Hillary Clinton has used in recent days to describe her anticipated future opponent, Donald Trump. The Democratic front-runner has notably escalated her rhetoric against the presumptive Republican nominee as she has made her way throughout California before Tuesdays primary. ABCs LIZ KREUTZ notes at times Clinton sounded almost like a stand-up comedian, cracking jokes about the reality-TV star turned presidential candidates wealth, and mocking his various business ventures. While at other times, she has gotten downright serious in her approach to Trump, who mocks her repeatedly as crooked Hillary.



MEET THE OTHER WOMAN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. Hillary Clinton's presidential run is being lauded as historic as she likely will become the first female Democratic nominee, but she isn't the only woman vying for the job this year. Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for president, and this year marks the second time she's bidding for a chance to turn "the White House into a Green House." ABCs MEGHAN KENEALLY has more.



@chrisdonovan: Lindsey Graham in NYT on Trump's comments about judge: "most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy"

@dcbigjohn: Trump is making the RNC's Latino outreach really really hard  via @Carrasquillo

@PatrickRuffini: Trump going after the judge won't cost him any with the base, but declining national polls in wake of Hillary clinch may

@jmpalmieri: Thanks for the HQ visit @JonBonJoviJBJ! We got the hometown hero working Jersey for us. Bring it home! #NJPrimary

@aseitzwald: Sanders-backer Sen. Jeff Merkley: that "Unity is going to begin today as soon as the polls close."