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US election at-a-glance: 31 May-6 June

WEEK IN A NUTSHELL

After a Democratic National Committee meeting in which the dispute over the Michigan and Florida delegations is resolved, Barack Obama clinches enough delegates to become the Democrats' presumptive nominee, on the day that the final primaries of the campaign are held in South Dakota and Montana. Hillary Clinton announces that she will end her campaign and endorse Mr Obama on Saturday 7 June. John McCain suggests to Mr Obama that the two of them should conduct a series of town hall-style debates.

KEY QUOTES

"Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States."
Barack Obama claims victory

It feels like watching Joan of Arc burned at the stake
Erica Jong laments the end of the Clinton campaign

"The question is where we go from here. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight."
Hillary Clinton isn't so sure

"That's not change you can believe in."
John McCain uses Barack Obama's slogan against him

"Why take Obama's own slogan and just say 'no'?... It seems like you'd want to develop your own theme a little more"
Bill Kristol, speaking on Fox News

"It feels like watching Joan of Arc burned at the stake. You can smell the burning flesh."
Erica Jong is not enjoying watching the end of Hillary Clinton's campaign

"The Clintons have no life but the pursuit of power; and you cannot afford to wound them politically. They will haunt Obama for ever; and long for his failure."
Andrew Sullivan doesn't mince his words

"The mistakes boil down to mismanagement, message, mobilization failures and the marital factor."
The Wall Street Journal takes an alliterative look at Mrs Clinton's campaign

NUMBER NEWS

The question of which candidate won the "popular vote" has been much discussed this week, partly because of the claim by Hillary Clinton to have beaten Barack Obama using this metric.

For a number of reasons, however, measuring the popular vote is a problematic exercise.

Firstly, states use different systems - primaries and caucuses - and caucus states tend to have lower turnouts than primary states.

This means that caucus states tend to be under-represented in measures of the popular vote.

Secondly, no candidates campaigned in Florida while many candidates - including Barack Obama - took their names off the ballot in Michigan. Should the votes in these states be counted in a calculation of the popular vote?

Also, because of the way in which their caucuses were conducted, some caucus states were not able to provide vote totals, while other states - like Texas and Washington - held both primaries and caucuses. Should the votes from these contests be counted?

Nate Silver - an Obama supporter and statistician from the website fivethirtyeight.com - has calculated that there are 972 different ways in which the popular vote can be counted, although he manages to reduce them down to eight plausible scenarios, all of which vary only according to how the votes from Michigan are handled.

Of those eight scenarios, Mr Silver has Mr Obama winning the popular vote in seven of them.

The only scenario in which Mrs Clinton is the winner is one in which she is given all of the votes cast for her in Michigan, and Mr Obama is given none of the "uncommitted" voters (a majority of whom expressed a preference for him in exit polls).

WEEKLY PICTURE

Michelle Obama "fistbumps" husband Barack as they celebrate his clinching the Democratic presidential nomination at a rally in St Paul, Minnesota, 3 June 2008
Michelle Obama "fistbumps" husband Barack as they celebrate his clinching the Democratic presidential nomination at a rally in St Paul, Minnesota




Electoral College votes

Winning post 270
Obama - Democrat
365
McCain - Republican
173
Select from the list below to view state level results.

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