Victory brings Clinton within reach of finally cracking the 'highest, hardest glass ceiling'
Clinton to face Trump in election that is already shaping up as one of the nastiest in modern history
Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, according to CNN’s delegate and superdelegate count, and will become the first woman in the 240-year history of the United States to lead the presidential ticket of a major political party.
A strong showing in Puerto Rico’s Democratic primary on Sunday and additional support from superdelegates put Clinton, 68, over the top on Monday night to become the presumptive nominee. She has secured 1,812 pledged delegates and 572 superdelegates for a total of 2,384 delegates – one more than needed for the nomination.
Clinton’s delegate count will grow Tuesday when six states, including delegate-rich California and New Jersey, hold contests. Speaking in Long Beach, California, on Monday, Clinton said she was still focused on the states where voters head to the polls Tuesday.
“We are on the brink of a historic, historic unprecedented moment but we still have work to do, don’t we?” she said. “We have six elections tomorrow and are going to fight hard for every single vote, especially right here in California.”
After three decades at the center of American politics as a pioneering – and deeply controversial – feminist icon, the victory brings Clinton within reach of finally cracking the “highest, hardest glass ceiling” she lamented eight years ago when she conceded the Democratic race to Barack Obama. The former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state will officially become the Democratic nominee at next month’s convention and will face presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in a general election battle that is already shaping up as one of the nastiest campaigns in modern U.S. history.
Clinton has pounced on Trump’s business record, character and tendency to use his platform to wage personal grudge matches to try to define him early on in the minds of voters as unfit for the presidency. Trump, for his part, is aiming to portray Clinton as a consistent liar who can’t be trusted.
Though Clinton already has Trump in her sights, she has work to do in her own party, and has pledged to unite Democrats after a grueling nominating battle against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The self-declared democratic socialist confounded expectations that he was little more than a fringe candidate and mounted his own crusade against the political establishment that electrified the party’s progressive base. He goes into the final Super Tuesday contest of the campaign this week vowing to fight on until the convention in July, despite being mathematically eliminated from the race.