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Obama, Clinton tied in race for superdelegates

  • Story Highlights
  • Obama picks up 273rd superdelegate
  • Obama camp: "We're coming to the end of the process"
  • Clinton led the superdelegate race by more than 100 at beginning of year
  • Obama takes a Mother's Day break; Clinton campaigns in West Virginia
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(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama has tied Sen. Hillary Clinton in the race for superdelegates, according to CNN's latest count.

Sen. Barack Obama has received a flurry of endorsements in the past few days.

Obama picked up an endorsement from California superdelegate Crystal Strait, a Young Democrats of America board member and a former California Young Democrats president.

"It's probably the hardest decision I've made in my life," Strait told CNN.

"I respect both candidates so much. But listening to how young people voted and caucused around the country, I know this was the right decision."

Superdelegates are party leaders and officials who vote for the candidate of their choice at the Democratic convention in August.

At the beginning of the year, Clinton had led the superdelegate race by more than 100.

The focus of the Democratic race has largely turned to the superdelegates because they outnumber the remaining pledged delegates that are up for grabs.

Strait became the 273rd superdelegate in Obama's column, by CNN's count. Clinton had 273 Sunday as well -- technically 273.5 because of some Democrats Abroad superdelegates who are given half a vote each.

"Barack Obama has shown a real commitment to young voters in his campaign, and in response, young people have overwhelmingly voted and caucused for Obama," Strait said in a written statement.

"We know that if a young person votes three times in a row for a party, they become a party voter for life. We know that because of high youth turnout in 2004 and 2006, 2008 is the third and critical election for young voters. And that's why I know I want to pledge my delegate vote to Barack Obama," she said.

Following a flurry of endorsements, Obama campaign chief David Axelrod on Sunday predicted superdelegates would continue to break for Obama.

"We're coming to the end of the process. I think people saw the results on Tuesday as very meaningful," he said on "Fox News Sunday."

The senator from Illinois last week had a double-digit win in North Carolina and a narrow loss in Indiana.

"I think there's an eagerness on the part of the party leadership and activists across the country to get on with the general election campaign. Sen. [John] McCain's been out there campaigning as the nominee for some time, and I think people are eager to engage," Axelrod said.

"So I think you're going to see people making decisions at a rapid pace from this point on," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday the prolonged primary season has been great for the country, pointing to increased voter registration for his party.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," he said people should "just relax" because the primaries will be over June 3.

There are only 217 pledged delegates up for grabs in the remaining contests.

Obama holds a commanding lead in the number of pledged delegates awarded from primaries and caucuses: 1,592 to Clinton's 1,424.

The Democrats next face off Tuesday in West Virginia, where polls show Clinton with a substantial lead.

Clinton has a 43-percentage-point advantage over Obama, 66 percent to 23 percent, according to a survey from the American Research Group released Friday.

The poll was conducted after Tuesday's primary results and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

"This state is really Hillary Clinton's wheelhouse. It's an older population, socially conservative, blue-collar workers," said Kennie Bass, a political reporter for WCHS in West Virginia.

Obama acknowledges that West Virginians favor Clinton.

"She is going to do very well in West Virginia and Kentucky. She will win those states, in all likelihood, by significant margins," he said this week.


Obama took a break from the campaign trail Sunday, spending Mother's Day in Chicago, Illinois.

Clinton had three stops scheduled in West Virginia ahead of the primary, and her husband, Bill Clinton, was campaigning for her in Oregon.

All About Democratic PartyHillary ClintonBarack Obama

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