Democrats began the formal process of nominating their White House candidate on Tuesday in a vote that will end with Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman presidential nominee of a major party in US history.
Delegates chanted “Hillary, Hillary,” as US Senator Barbara Mikulski put Clinton’s name forward for a state-by-state roll call at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
After a long battle with US Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton has more than enough delegates needed to win the vote and be the standard bearer for the party against Republican nominee Donald Trump at the Nov. 8 election.
Sanders has endorsed Clinton, a former secretary of state and first lady, but some of his supporters have protested in Philadelphia against her and the party establishment for seeming to back her during the bitter Democratic primary fight.
The nominating process on Tuesday was expected to take around two hours. Sanders’ name was also put forward for nomination but he does not have the delegates to win.
Supporters of Clinton, who was also a US senator and first lady to President Bill Clinton, say her Washington credentials show she has the experience needed for the White House during troubled times as the United States tries to speed up its economic recovery and faces security challenges abroad.
Detractors view her as too cozy with the establishment, and say she carries political baggage dating back to the start of her husband’s first White House term in the 1990s.
Hillary Clinton struggled to shake off Sanders during the Democratic state-by-state nominating contests, in part due to controversy over her use of a private email server for official business when she was America’s top diplomat between 2009-2013.
Clinton had been leading Trump in national opinion polls in recent weeks but the billionaire businessman got a boost from the Republican convention in Cleveland where he was formally nominated last week.
Trump posted a two-point lead over Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, the first time he has been ahead since early May.