A day after major news organizations declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, she has racked up more victories in primaries, but Bernie Sanders remains committed to staying in the race.
Clinton was announced early as the winner of the New Jersey primary, which she was widely expected to take, and late, about 3 a.m. Wednesday on the West Coast, was projected as the winner of the more hotly contested California primary.
With almost all the vote counted in New Jersey, she had 63 percent of the vote and Vermont Sen. Sanders 37 percent, according to the Associated Press. She has been allocated 73 of the state's 126 delegates, Sanders 47. In California, with 68 percent of precincts reporting at 3 a.m., she had 56 percent of the vote and Sanders 43 percent, and 317 of the state's delegates to his 170, NBC News reports. California has 475 delegates total.
This adds to Clinton's nominating-clinching count of 2,383, announced yesterday. This includes 1,812 delegates won in state primaries and caucuses and 571 superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders who can support the candidate of their choice. AP is also reporting that Clinton has won New Mexico and South Dakota. In New Mexico, with 90 percent of the vote in, she has 52 percent to Sanders's 48 percent; she has been allocated 17 of the state's 34 delegates, Sanders 14. In South Dakota, with almost all the votes counted, she has 51 percent to Sanders's 49 percent, and they each have 10 delegates.
Sanders, meanwhile, has won North Dakota's Democratic caucus, according to AP. With 100 percent of the vote counted, he has 64 percent, Clinton 23 percent. He has been allocated 13 of the state's 18 delegates, Clinton five. And about 11 p.m. Pacific time, NBC News projected him as the winner of the Montana primary, leading Clinton 51 percent to 45 percent; few delegates had been allocated yet. Sanders started the day with 1,569 delegates — 1,521 from primaries and caucuses and 48 superdelegates.
It was eight years ago today that Clinton conceded the race for the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama and endorsed him. “I believed it was the right thing to do,” she told reporters at a campaign stop in Compton, Calif., Monday, according to reports in several newspapers. “No matter what differences we had in our long campaign, they paled in comparison to the differences we had with the Republicans.”
Sanders, however, has vowed to stay in the campaign until the Democratic National Convention in July in Philadelphia. He has said he would try to persuade superdelegates to come over to his side. In an interview Tuesday with NBC's Lester Holt, he said he believes the superdelegates will see that he is the strongest candidate against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. However, there also are reports that Sanders is laying off campaign staff, according to The New York Times.
Trump easily won California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota today, as the last active Republican candidate; North Dakota already held its Republican contest. Trump is under fire from leaders in his own party, however, because of his claim that a judge hearing a lawsuit regarding Trump University will not be objective because of the judge's Mexican heritage.
Later in the day, about 10:45 p.m. local time, Sanders spoke to a crowd of supporters in Santa Monica, Calif., and voiced his commitment to stay in the race. "I am pretty good at arithmetic, and I know that the fight against us is a pretty steep fight, but we will continue to fight for every delegate," he said.
He also promised to keep addressing the issues of income inequality, problems with the immigration and criminal justice systems, and environmental concerns. "Our vision of social justice, economic justice, racial justice, and environmental justice must be the future of America," he said. He noted that progressive change in the nation has always come from the bottom up, as has been the case with "the trade union movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and the gay movement."
Clinton spoke to her supporters earlier in the evening at Brooklyn Navy Yard, noting the groundbreaking nature of her nomination, thanking Sanders for raising issues in the campaign, and pledging to be the opposite of Trump. "We all want a society that is tolerant, inclusive, and fair," she said. She noted LGBT people in her vision of inclusivity, saying rights should not be limited to those who "look a certain way or worship a certain way or love a certain way."
She touted building bridges over building walls, as Trump has promised to do between the U.S. and Mexico, and mentioned that her late mother had taught her to stand up to bullies, something she expects to come in handy during the general election campaign. Clinton also pointed out that her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, was born June 4, 1919, the day Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Consitution, giving women the right to vote, and sent it on to the states for ratification. She gave another shout-out to feminist pioneers by noting the first women's rights convention, held in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
A new video titled "History Made," recognizing Clinton's position as the first woman presidential nominee for a major party, was shown before she takes the stage. The video gives a nod to Clinton's intention to represent the diverse U.S. population, including gay and straight, and features a transgender woman.
The Human Rights Campaign, which endorsed Clinton in January, hailed her successes. “Hillary Clinton made history tonight in more ways than one,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a press release. “As the first woman to secure the nomination of a major political party, she has shattered barriers that have persisted since this country’s founding. She has also laid out the most ambitious agenda for LGBTQ equality that our nation has ever seen from a presidential candidate. With Donald Trump threatening to roll back all the progress our community has made under President Obama, the stakes for millions of LGBTQ Americans couldn't be higher in this election — and our choice on November 8 couldn't be clearer.”
Below, watch Sanders's interview and Santa Monica speech and Clinton's victory speech and introductory video.