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Obama takes triple crown: Most delegates, most popular vote and most superdelegates

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Friday, May 9, 2008 8:17 EDT
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ABC News reports that Barack Obama has taken the lead in superdelegates. Obama has 267 to Clinton’s 265.

ABC’s Jake Tapper reports, “Senator Obama has two big endorsements — Congressman Payne, a former Clinton supporter, and Senator Defazio. That means he takes the lead with superdelegates 267 to Senator Clinton’s 265. For the first time, Barack Obama can now say he leads Hillary Clinton for the battle in the all important superdelegates and mounting odds against Clinton are taking a toll.”

Senator Obama has reached for and won (at least, temporarily and for the first time) the triple-crown – first in ‘earned’ delegates, first in ‘popular’ vote totals, and now, first in ‘superdelegate’ count – as two more superdelegates declared for him today.

This is the first time Sen. Obama has been in the superdelegate lead during this long and fractious Democratic primary.

The big news in pocketing both of these superdelegate votes is Rep. Payne who switched his vote from Clinton to Obama, calling Mrs. Clinton “a good friend” before jumping off the flat-lined Clinton campaign as Mr. Obama takes the lead in all campaign metrics; superdelegates, popular vote, and earned delegates.

Rep. Payne told the New Jersey Star-Ledger, “After careful consideration, I have reached the conclusion that Barack Obama can best bring about the change that our country so desperately wants and needs.”

“It’s now time for us to pull our party together. The quicker it’s over, the better we’ll be able to bring all of our forces together.”

Rep. Payne first endorsed Mrs. Clinton on January 1, 2007 and said he had “worked closely with both Hillary Clinton and President Clinton” and praised her for running a “very aggressive campaign.”

From the east coast to the west, the superdelegates are scrambling aboard the Obama train as Oregon’s Rep. Peter DeFazio committed to Barack Obama telling the Oregonian, “He represents our best chance of winning in November. We must not allow Senator McCain to continue the failures of the Bush foreign policy, war in Iraq and disastrous economic policies.”

Since Tuesday’s elections in South Carolina and Indiana, the movement has begun in earnest with superdelegates who will decide this race. Rep. Heath Shuler (NC) came out for Clinton and DNC superdelegates Jerry Meek from North Carolina and Inola Henry from California chose Obama.

Superdelegate Jennifer McClellan in Virginia recently switched to Obama, and yesterday, Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) joined Obama’s superdelegate team. Today, Obama gained Rep. Payne and Rep. DeFazio.

Total superdelegate gain for Sen. Obama in the last three days is 7 and Clinton has a net loss of 1. This may be the long-awaited superdelegate ‘momentum’ that the Obama campaign has been waiting for.

This video is from ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast May 9, 2008.

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