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What's next for Clinton camp after delegates decision?

Delegate flap over Michigan, Florida is over for now, but her backers are miffed.

Decision day: Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee co-chairs James Roosevelt (l.) and Alexis Herman (r.) at their meeting Saturday in Washington.

mike theiler/reuters

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Democratic leaders have addressed the lingering issue of Florida's and Michigan's rogue primaries, but the saga is not over.

Under compromise solutions adopted by the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee on Saturday, both states will send delegates to the August convention in Denver after all, albeit with half votes each instead of full. But supporters of presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton are particularly angry that the Michigan deal gave her rival, Barack Obama, delegates they believe he did not earn.

If significant numbers of Clinton supporters remain angry and unwilling to vote for Senator Obama, the likely nominee, Obama's prospects for election in November could be damaged. The question now is how Senator Clinton handles herself going forward. She won Sunday's Democratic primary in Puerto Rico, but there is virtually nothing she can do to halt Obama's momentum toward the nomination.

If all goes according to plan for Obama, he will declare the nomination his after winning the final two primaries, Montana and South Dakota, on Tuesday. The remaining superdelegates, party leaders and elected officials who can back whomever they want, are under pressure to state their preferences as soon as the primaries are over, and Obama has been busy lining up their support in time for a victory announcement Tuesday.

The reinstatement of the Michigan and Florida delegations has increased the magic number of delegates needed to secure the nomination to 2,118. As of Saturday night, Obama had 2,052 and Clinton had 1,877, according to the Associated Press.


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