Continued from page 1

With party elders known as “superdelegates” thrown in, the independent website said he had 1,915 delegates in total — so he needed 110 more to reach the ultimate winning line of 2,025.

A total of 103 delegates was up for grabs in Oregon and Kentucky.

McAuliffe turned to no lesser an authority than Karl Rove, Bush’s long-time counselor and a hate figure for most Democrats, to burnish his arguments about electability.

An electoral map prepared by Rove’s consulting firm and leaked to the press showed Clinton beating McCain easily in November. The race with Obama as the Democratic nominee was suggested to be much tighter.

But that contention, and Clinton’s claim that she now leads in the popular vote including disputed primaries in Florida and Michigan, has not cut much ice with superdelegates as more party elders drift towards Obama.

McCain was already anticipating a November faceoff with Obama, using a speech in Miami to savage the Democrat’s Cuba policy, a day after accusing him of a “reckless” misreading of the threat from Iran.

But speaking on CNN, Obama said he would not offer summit talks with Cuba or Iran without preparations by lower-level diplomats beforehand, and reiterated his charge that “Bush-McCain” diplomacy had “failed.”

Both Obama and Clinton were heading to Florida Wednesday. The Sunshine State’s primary results, like Michigan’s, were voided by Democratic bosses over a scheduling row.

Heading to the final contests in Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota, Clinton’s hopes hinge in large part on getting the Florida and Michigan delegates reinstated at a Democratic National Committee meeting on May 31.