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Barring Something Unforeseen, Hillary Clinton Will Be The Democratic Nominee

Hillary Clinton addresses supporters after winning four of five Northeastern states Tuesday night.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
AFP/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton addresses supporters after winning four of five Northeastern states Tuesday night.

Hillary Clinton now has 2,141 delegates (with pledged and superdelegates combined), as of midnight Wednesday.

That means she is 90 percent of the way to the 2,383 delegates she needs to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Taking superdelegates out of the equation, she leads Bernie Sanders by 351 pledged delegates. (Clinton has 1,622 to Sanders' 1,282.) Sanders would need two-thirds of all remaining pledged delegates to overtake Clinton in that count.

Clinton could lose every single remaining contest in every single remaining state by more than 20 points and still get a pledged majority.

That is a virtual impossibility.

But superdelegates should not be excluded. Yes, they won't officially vote until this summer's convention. And, yes, they can vote however they want, but Clinton has a 519-to-39 lead with these elected officials and party leaders. Without Sanders winning the pledged majority, his only argument is that he polls better than Clinton at this point against Donald Trump. That is hardly an argument most seasoned politicians are going to buy at this point.

The bottom line is this: Barring something extraordinary happening, Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee for president.

Trump, the 'presumptive nominee'?

On the Republican side, Donald Trump declared himself the "presumptive nominee" Tuesday night.

He's not quite there yet, but he has made significant strides toward that goal.

With his five-state sweep Tuesday, and in New York last week, Trump has won a whopping 194 delegates to nine. (All of those went to John Kasich. Ted Cruz has won zero.)

Trump now has 950 delegates, which means he has 75 percent of the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination.

He needs 48 percent of all remaining unassigned delegates to reach that magic number.

What's more, Trump is now the only Republican still in the race who can reach a majority of delegates (that's the 1,237 number) on the first ballot at the convention.

Who would have said that a year ago?

Cruz was mathematically eliminated tonight. Kasich was mathematically eliminated more than a month ago

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Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.

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