By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, May 18, Democratic voters in Kentucky went to the polls and were almost evenly split between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) and US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
As of press time, it looks like Hillary has pulled out a narrow win in Kentucky with 212,318 (46.8 percent) to Sanders’ 210,505 (46.3 percent), but under KY rules Fox News is reporting that Clinton and Sanders will each get 25 delegates from the state, which has 55 delegates in total.
Kentucky has a closed primary where only registered Democrats are allowed to participate.
Sanders’ campaign was criticized by many for the heated rhetoric of some of his supporters in Nevada at the state’s Democratic convention over the weekend where Sanders supporters reportedly threw chairs, booed US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) off the stage, and threatened the life of the state’s Democratic Party Chairman.
Some Democrats have called for Sanders to stand down and exit the race to give Hillary Clinton time to focus on Donald Trump. Others have called on Sanders to get control of his supporters. Sen. Boxer told CNN, “”He should get things under control. We’re in a race that is very critical. We have to be united.”
Sen. Sanders responded to the growing criticism in a statement on Monday, “The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.” “The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.”
Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump taunted Clinton about the closeness of the Kentucky race. Trump tweeted, “Do you think Crooked Hillary will finally close the deal? If she can’t win Kentucky, she should drop out of race. System rigged!”
Recent polls have shown a tightening in the race between Trump and Clinton. A recent Rasmussen poll even had the billionaire businessman leading Secretary Clinton by two percentage points 41 to 39 percent.
As of press time Sanders was declared the victor in the Oregon primary where he was leading Sec. Clinton 53 percent to 47 percent. Sanders had been leading in the polls there for some time. The win gives Sanders 20 victories and 28 more delegates. Clinton gets 24 bound delegates from Oregon (as of press time).
On the Republican side, Donald Trump won Oregon easily. With no active opponents remaining in the GOP field, Trump had 66.7 percent of the vote at press time. Trump won the Kentucky GOP Primary back on March 6.
Sec. Clinton is very close to reaching the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination at the convention largely due to a decided advantage among the super delegates who are not selected by the voters in the primary and caucus process.