The New York Daily News reports Tuesday that David Axelrod, Barack Obama's chief strategist, isn't being shy about saying he sees a light at the end of the tunnel. And that end is approaching soon, according to Axelrod. "We're very close now," Axelrod said. "When the primaries end, I think, we'll be where we need to be ... We'll be at the number we need to claim the nomination."
There seems to be good reason for his confidence, though of course there are other factors that might skew the calculation, like the meeting of the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee that will happen this weekend.
The Obama camp claims to be only 49 delegates away from the magic number of 2,026 now needed to capture the nomination. (Hillary Clinton's campaign disputes that number, and uses a bigger one -- 2,210 -- that takes into account the Florida and Michigan delegations.) And the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder is reporting that the Obama camp has a trump card at the ready that might bring Obama close to those 49 delegates, especially once the pledged delegates from the remaining primaries are taken into account.
"The Obama campaign has, for the first time, really, begun to bank delegates," Ambinder writes. "Sources close to the campaign estimate that as many as three dozen Democratic superdelegates have privately pledged to announce their support for Obama on June 4 or 5." He adds that the Obama camp wants to make sure it doesn't end the first week of June without being able to declare victory.