CBSN

Obama Confident About Upcoming Contests

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

RICHMOND, VA. -- Barack Obama's Saturday sweep of Nebraska, Washington state and Louisiana now puts him in the lead for pledged delegates, according to CBS News' delegate count. As of 9 a.m. Eastern Time, CBS News shows Obama with 975 pledged delegates to Hillary Clinton's 907. Adding in superdelegates, Clinton holds a slight lead, 1,118 to 1,112.

Obama spoke at the Virginia Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Richmond on Saturday, and said voters have chosen the future over the past.

"Today, the voters from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the Heart of America, stood up to say, Yes, we can. We won in Louisiana. We won in Nebraska. We won in Washington state. We won north, we won South. We won in between. And I believe we can win in Virginia on Tuesday, if you're ready to stand for change," Obama said.

His campaign is confident that the momentum from Saturday's wins puts Obama in a better position for another win in Maine's caucuses today and in Tuesday's contests in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. Obama staffers argue that he needed the boost because Clinton has an edge in Maine, Virginia, and Maryland. A senior campaign official said Clinton has the political advantage in Maryland. She is endorsed by Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., and other state officials.

The Obama campaign also notes that Hillary and Bill Clinton have been aggressively campaigning in Maine and could have momentum there from her New Hampshire win last month. However, since Maine is a caucus contest, Obama may perform better than his campaign is suggesting - he's won every caucus so far except for Nevada. Obama has a strong ground organization in the state and if voter turnout is high, he could perform well. The only disadvantage could be the snowy weather forecast in Maine today, which could discourage voters from caucusing.

The Obama campaign is also touting their February fund-raising. The campaign has not released figures for the month, but they claim to have raised more than Clinton. Clinton announced last night that she has raised $10 million since Super Tuesday.

"We've raised well more than the Clinton campaign this month but more importantly is how we have raised it, from hundreds of thousands of donors who are also forming the backbone of a potent grassroots movement for change," Bill Burton, campaign spokesman, wrote in an e-ail to reporters.

Today, Obama campaigns across Virginia with Gov. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.