Hillary Clinton has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination for president, The Associated Press reported Monday night, an achievement that would make her the first female nominee of a major party for the presidency.
Mrs. Clinton had been expected to clinch the nomination on Tuesday after polls closed in New Jersey.
But The Associated Press surveyed superdelegates on Monday night, and their reporting showed that Mrs. Clinton had secured the overall support of the required 2,383 delegates, according to a news release.
The call comes after a bruising primary fight against Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has said he is prepared to stay in the race until the Democratic Party’s convention in late July.
And it comes before voting Tuesday in six states including California, where Mr. Sanders was hoping for an upset victory to extend his campaign.
Speaking at a rally in Long Beach, Calif., on Monday, Mrs. Clinton said that she was still focusing on the primaries on Tuesday. “I got to tell you,” Mrs. Clinton said, “according to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment, but we still have work to do, don’t we?”
She added: “We have six elections tomorrow, and we’re going to fight hard for every single vote, especially right here in California.”
Michael Briggs, Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, said in a statement that The A.P.’s ruling was “unfortunate” and “a rush to judgement.”
“Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination,” Mr. Briggs said. “She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then.”
He added: “Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump.”
Mr. Sanders, who had vowed to stay in the race until the convention, said in a news conference on Monday that he “hoped to win” in California, but added, “Let’s assess where we are after tomorrow before we make statements based on speculation.”
Mrs. Clinton won the Puerto Rico primary on Sunday, bringing her closer to the number of pledged delegates required for the nomination.