AP says Obama has the delegates he needs

Even before the results/pledged delegates come in from South Dakota and Montana?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, based on an Associated Press tally of convention delegates, becoming the first black candidate ever to lead his party into a fall campaign for the White House.

Campaigning on an insistent call for change, Obama outlasted former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in a historic race that sparked record turnout in primary after primary, yet exposed deep racial divisions within the party.

The AP tally was based on public commitments from delegates as well as more than a dozen private commitments. It also included a minimum number of delegates Obama was guaranteed even if he lost the final two primaries in South Dakota and Montana later in the day.

Ben Smith says be skeptical:

Not to be a stickler here, but that’s not how this has been working, either in our count or in in the Obama campaign’s. The commitments that matter are the ones that are public. So the story is trivial: I think you could probably get virtually all of the superdelegates at this point to privately acknowledge that they’ll vote for Obama at the convention.

So as far as the (academic) matter of deciding when exactly Obama gets the majority, I’m going to stick with named supporters. Our count, and the Obama campaign’s, leave him about 30 shy.

There are 31 pledged delegates total at stake tonight in both the SD and MT primaries combined. Obama should get at least half, which would leave him roughly 15 shy, which he will make up for in superdelegates in very short order.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a Clinton supporter, is saying it’s time to end this. Will Hillary listen?

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