US Senator Barack Obama declared himself “within reach” of the Democratic nomination and celebrated in Iowa where his win in the opening contest of the presidential primary season helped reshape the race.
Obama has won 1,649.5 pledged delegates in the primaries and caucuses, surpassing the 1,627 needed to claim a majority. Three primaries remain.
Obama has an overall total of 1,956 delegates. Clinton has 1,776, including superdelegates, the latest AP tally showed.
Obama split a pair of primaries on Tuesday with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former first lady bested him in Kentucky while he defeated her in Oregon, winning a majority of the delegates elected in all 56 primaries and caucuses combined.
Obama paid tribute to Clinton in his remarks, but left little doubt that he has put the lengthy and hard-fought contest behind him.
Obama warned of a tough campaign ahead against the Republicans and Senator John McCain, their expected presidential nominee.
“They will play on our fears and our doubts and our divisions to distract us from what matters to you,” Obama said. “Well, they can take the low road if they want, but it will not lead this country to a better place. And it will not work in this election. It won’t work because you won’t let it.”