Sen. Hillary Clinton won a largely symbolic primary in Puerto Rico on Sunday while her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, gained delegates and is now estimated to be just 47 delegates short of the 2,118 needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.

At a victory celebration in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday, however, Clinton gave no indication that she would withdraw from the race.

According to a transcript released by her campaign, Clinton said her surge in the late contests shows she would be “the stronger nominee and the strongest president.”

“We are winning the popular vote. Now, there can be no doubt, the people have spoken and you have chosen your candidate. And it’s important where we have won,” Clinton said. “We are winning these votes in swing states and among the very swing voters that Democrats must win to take back the White House and put this country back on the path to prosperity. Together, we’ve won the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, West Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, and, yes, Michigan and Florida.”

Contrary to Clinton, Obama’s aides predicted he was on track to gain a delegate majority shortly after Tuesday’s primaries in South Dakota and Montana — both of which he is expected to win — and questioned the validity of her popular vote claim. Her assertion includes estimates for caucuses in Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington state, where no official candidate popular vote is available. It also includes the results from Florida, where no campaigning occurred, as well as Michigan, where Obama did not receive any votes because his name was not on the ballot.

While campaigning in Mitchell, South Dakota Sunday afternoon, the Illinois senator praised the former first lady in terms usually reserved for a vanquished rival.

“First of all, Sen. Clinton is an outstanding public servant, she has worked tirelessly during this campaign … and she is going to be a great asset when we go into November,” he told his audience. “Whatever differences Sen. Clinton and I may have, those differences pale in comparison to the other side.”

Obama’s confidence in the outcome of the historic battle between a woman and a black for the nomination reflected the results of Saturday’s meeting of the Democratic Party’s rules and bylaws committee. Before an audience that jeered and cheered by turns, the panel voted to seat disputed delegations from Michigan and Florida, but give each delegate only one-half vote rather than the full vote sought by the Clinton campaign.

While the decision narrowed the gap between Clinton and Obama, it also erased the former first lady’s last chance to change the course of the campaign.

Clinton’s camp objected to the 69-59 delegate-split compromise on the outcome of the Michigan primary, in which the junior senator from New York was the only candidate on the ballot, and argued it would appeal to the party’s credentials committee at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August.

On the Sunday morning television talk show circuit, however, Clinton’s surrogates softened their stance a bit, saying it was an option the senator would keep open.

“I have not had a chance to talk with Senator Clinton at any length about it, and obviously this will be a big decision. But her rights are reserved,” Harold Ickes, a top adviser to Clinton, said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

One of her strongest supporters, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, sounded uninterested in a further challenge.

“I don’t think we’re going to fight this at the convention, because even were we to win it, unless it’s going to change enough delegates for Senator Clinton to win the nomination, then it would be a fight that would have no purpose,” Rendell said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Laying the outcome of the nomination at the feet of superdelegates, Clinton told the crowd in Puerto Rico on Sunday, “The decision will fall on the shoulders of those leaders in our party empowered by the rules to vote at the Democratic Convention.”

With all precincts reporting, the Puerto Rico vote count showed Clinton with 263,120 votes, or 68 percent, to Obama’s 121,458, or 32 percent.

“Bottom line: It looks like we will have another few weeks of political drama,” Democratic political strategist Craig Kirby told “I think now is the time for uncommitted superdelegates to step up to the plate — and make their preference known.”

“I think the math is going to be important,” said David Bositis, senior analyst for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a black think tank in Washington, D.C., “so if she continues, there’s going to be costs politically if it’s clear she’s lost and she keeps trying.”

Bositis said recent remarks by party leaders seeking a quick end to the Democratic race so they can focus on the fall campaign against GOP Sen. John McCain is putting added pressure on Clinton.

“It’s pretty clear it’s not going to the convention,” he told

“Arguably, the most striking aspect of the Puerto Rican primary is the impact it will have upon the status quo in this year’s Democratic primary,” said Michelle Bernard. a black conservative and president and CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum. “That impact is largely symbolic and, given the lower-than-anticipated voter turnout, may be negligible. Even after Sen. Clinton’s impressive and decisive victory in Puerto Rico, and even assuming she receives the lion’s share of Puerto Rico’s delegates, the delegate math still works against her.”

Further, Bernard told,   “one may assume that the Clinton campaign will continue to argue that Sen. Clinton has won the popular vote, and that she is the candidate more likely to defeat Sen. (John) McCain in the general election. However, the popular vote argument is faulty in that the count fails to consider at least two caucus states and also neglects the fact that in the Democratic party, the nomination usually goes to the person who meets the party’s delegate requirements. It appears that Sen. Obama will meet that test by Wednesday morning.”