Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a campaign rally at Sacramento City College on June 5, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty

Clinton ‘excited’ about historic nature of likely nomination

Nearly eight years to the day that Hillary Clinton ended her first presidential run, the former secretary of state said she is not allowing herself to think about the historical significance of likely clinching the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday.

“It’s really emotional. And I am someone who has been very touched and really encouraged by the extraordinary conviction that people have,” Clinton told reporters while campaigning in California on Monday.

RELATED: Gender and the presidency: A look through polling history

The presidential campaign: Hillary Clinton
Clinton arguably boasts experience in government unparalleled by anyone in the presidential field — but that has also made her a high-profile target for attack.
The former secretary of state is just 19 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination, according to an NBC News tally. Clinton said she is “excited about that but not letting myself focus on” becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major party.

Tuesday will mark eight years to the day that Clinton ended her first presidential run, conceding to then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has said a strong performance in California could propel him to stay in the race until the Democratic convention in July, despite trailing Clinton in pledged delegates.

In a news conference Monday, Sanders said winning the California primary and doing well in the four other states voting tomorrow could compel superdelegates to give them their support because of polling that shows the Vermont senator would defeat Donald Trump.

However, a somewhat uncharacteristically cautious Sanders said, “Let’s assess where we are after tomorrow.”

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com

Photos: Voters speak out ahead of California primary
Voting in California’s primary opens Tuesday, and the Democratic presidential candidates have been campaigning aggressively across the Golden State.

Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Clinton 'excited' about historic nature of likely nomination