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Sen. Hillary Clinton will hold an event with supporters by Friday, likely ending her historic bid for the White House and ceding the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, ABC News has learned.
Clinton's decision to leave the race ends a long, often bitter battle for the right to challenge Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the general election.
Obama, D-Ill., who claimed victory after clinching the necessary delegates on Tuesday, will be the nation's first African American running with the nomination of one of the country's two major political parties.
Clinton's Bid for History Falls Short
Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and two-term senator from New York, entered the race over a year ago with the words, "I'm in it to win it."
Clinton quickly emerged as the formidable frontrunner, raising millions of dollars and leading in both state and national polls.
In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in December 2006, she was supported by 39 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, well ahead of her nearest competitors -- Barack Obama with 17 percent support; former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., with 12 percent; and former Vice President Al Gore, 10 percent.
Obama had announced his intention to form a presidential exploratory committee a few days before Clinton's announcement on her Web site, hillaryclinton.com.