Bernie Sanders is not going quietly.
While leading Democrats are growing more urgent in their need to unify, and Sanders allies are hinting at what the Bern Movement will look like after he is knocked out, the race continues. Sanders backers are raising an increasing ruckus — witness the Nevada Democratic convention — that will only grow if the insurgent picks up two more wins today.
With Democrats’ proportional allocations, Hillary Clinton remains a near-certainty to take the nomination, ahead by 300 pledged delegates even before you get to her overwhelming advantage with superdelegates. But each loss exposes weaknesses ahead of the fall campaign and makes her spend money on Sanders rather than Donald Trump. And there is no indication the state of play will change before June.
Kentucky Democrats — 55 pledged delegates, 5 superdelegates
Both campaigns have been working the Bluegrass State, and Clinton has been spending money on television ads — a sign of her need for a knockout blow. But the former Secretary of State took a beating in West Virginia last week, and has had to apologize to coal country for statements about wanting to put coal companies out of business.
But Kentucky is more urban and diverse than West Virginia. Witness Clinton’s two trips to Louisville in the past week. With the only polling more than two months old, it’s hard to tell where this one will go.
Clinton has the endorsement of two of the state’s five superdelegates, with the other three undecided.
Polls: Public Policy Polling (March 1-2) Clinton 43, Sanders 38.
Candidate visits: Sanders was in Bowling Green on Saturday and Paducah on Sunday. Clinton was in Louisville on May 10; Louisville and Covington on Sunday; and Bowling Green, Hopkinsville and Lexington on Monday.
Links: Clinton was campaigning hard in Kentucky, hoping to avoid a two-loss Tuesday. (New York Times)
In a primary eve rally, Clinton took aim at Trump — not Sanders — and touted a $30 billion plan to revitalize coal country. (Louisville Courier-Journal)
Oregon Democrats — 61 pledged delegates, 13 superdelegates
The demographics set up well for a Sanders triumph. He has staged some big rallies, there are a lot of white liberals and he dominated neighboring Washington state. Oregon is an entirely vote by mail state — meaning if the tally is close, it will take a very long time for all of the votes to trickle in — and it’s a closed primary, which could help Clinton.
There has only been one recent poll, showing Clinton way up, and it is hard to gauge its reliability. The fact that Clinton has virtually ignored the state, while Sanders has staged big rallies, says a lot.
Clinton has six superdelegate backers, to Sanders’ one — U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley.
Polls: Fox 12/KPTV (May 6-9): Clinton 48, Sanders 33.
Candidate visits: Sanders was in Salem on May 10.
Links: There has been a huge surge in new voter registrations from young people, likely a good sign for Bernie. (The Oregonian)
Oregon’s closed primary could hurt Sanders. (Fox News)
But the Sanders campaign staged a huge voter registration drive to get its people into the Democratic tent in time. (Los Angeles Times)