Major news outlets including The Associated Press, CBS, and NBC just rained on everyone's parade and called the Democratic race the night before Tuesday night's big primaries in California and New Jersey. The networks have declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, but both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are vowing to fight on anyway.
First the how: The Associated Press was first to announce that Clinton had reached the threshold of delegates required to win the nomination. The AP reached its determination by talking to the party insiders known as superdelegates who had not previously pledged their support to Clinton.
In other words: Clinton didn't win another contest, she just persuaded a few more superdelegates to accept the inevitable and get on board.
It's safe to say that neither the Sanders or Clinton campaign wanted it to happen like this. Sanders wanted the race to remain undeclared going into the California primary, where polls show the race close. After the AP's call, the Sanders campaign released a statement calling it a rush to judgment and vowing to fight all the way to the convention in Philadelphia next month.
The Clinton campaign, for its part, probably did not want the race to end this way, either. The early call took some steam out of any plans for a big declaration of victory Tuesday night, and will undoubtably anger Sanders supporters at a time when Clinton is looking to unify her party.
Clinton responded to the AP's call on Twitter by saying her campaign is "flattered" but plans to keep on fighting.
So what does this mean for the big primaries on Tuesday in six states?
Sanders' path to the nomination was all but mathematically impossible before Monday night. His campaign put all its energy into winning California, his best shot at making a big statement before arguing that the superdelegates should change their allegiance because he is best positioned to beat Donald Trump.
Still, even before the AP's announcement, the major networks were almost certain to call the race for Clinton after the polls closed in New Jersey and before they closed on the West Coast. That means Sanders was always probably going into California with Hillary Clinton as the presumptive nominee. It just happened a little bit sooner than expected.
On top of that, President Barack Obama is reportedly itching to endorse Clinton formally, perhaps as early as this week.
So should everyone in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana and the Dakotas just stay home Tuesday? No! Go vote. Voting's fun. You get a sticker. Also, these calls from the networks are likely to have an effect on who turns out. What kind of an effect is still to be determined, but that means that the outcome is even less predictable than it was before, which is exciting.
Also, if you're not in one of those states you'll still want to tune in for the big show. If nothing else, you can expect Donald Trump will be live tweeting the whole night.