CHICAGO -- Now that the dust has (almost) settled, Barack Obama has won more Super Tuesday delegates than Hillary Clinton, his campaign said this morning. Of the 22 states up for grabs, Obama won 13 states to Clinton's 8. They're still counting votes in New Mexico, where Obama holds a narrow lead.
The delegate victory yesterday, assuming it holds, would represent a significant coup for Obama. Clinton had long been seen as the dominant candidate in the Feb. 5 contests, and she was expected to emerge with more delegates.
But while Clinton captured big wins in California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, it wasn't enough to overcome Obama's strength around the country, including in pivotal states like Missouri and Connnecticut. He also did better in Clinton's home state of New York than she did in his home state of Illinois.
"Last night was an outstanding night for the Obama campaign," campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters in a conference call this morning.
According to Plouffe's tally, Obama won 847 pledged delegates yesterday to Clinton's 834, bringing his pledged delegate total to 910. Clinton's overall total, Plouffe said, is 882. But there's a long way to go: It takes more than 2,000 delegates to win the nomination.
UPDATE: Obama, addressing reporters at a Chicago-area hotel this morning, argued that despite feeling victorious after last night, he was still the "underdog," because of Clinton's institutional advantages and broader name recognition. "We are less of an underdog than we were two weeks ago," Obama said, which prompted a chuckle from assembled reporters. "I think that's fair. I think that two weeks ago we were a big underdog. Now we're a slight underdog."
On a conference call with the media this morning, Clinton's campaign aides said they expect neither candidate will have won five or 10 more delegates than the other on Super Tuesday when everything is counted, and they said their current count has them up by one. Clinton aides also touted her success yesterday among late-breaking voters, rural voters, and young voters. And they noted her lead among superdelegates -- the Democratic Party leaders who get a voice in the nomination.