WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Associated Press reported that Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, while her rival Bernie Sanders said the call was premature.
AP said late Monday that the former secretary of state’s pledged delegates together with “superdelegates” who back her topped the 2,383 needed to secure the nomination on the first round of voting.
“Superdelegates” refers to party members, including elected officials, who may declare support for a candidate but are not bound to that candidate. Pledged delegates must vote for their candidate.
A Clinton win would make her the first woman nominee for a major party.
Sanders, the first Jewish candidate to win major party nominating contests, said in a statement that the AP had rushed to judgment.
“It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer,” the Independent Vermont senator’s campaign said in a statement.
“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump,” the presumptive Republican nominee.
The AP’s count comes on the day before primary elections in six states, including California, where there are 851 delegates at stake, and New Jersey, where 142 are at stake.
Clinton, on Twitter, also suggested the AP’s call was premature and urged voters to turn out on Tuesday.
“We’re flattered, @AP, but we’ve got primaries to win,” she said. “Vote tomorrow!”
There is only one Democratic contest after Tuesday, in the District of Columbia on June 14.