Sanders Hopes for Another Upset Tuesday

Both Kentucky, Oregon up for grabs, though some still say wins against Clinton wouldn't matter
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2016 12:01 PM CDT
Sanders Hopes for Another Upset Tuesday
In this May 10, 2016, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters during a campaign rally in Salem, Ore.   (Danielle Peterson/Statesman-Journal via AP, File)

Oregon and Kentucky are both holding Democratic primaries Tuesday, and even though USA Today notes it "won't really matter" whether Hillary Clinton loses to Bernie Sanders there—per the AP, she's got 2,240 pledged and superdelegates to Sanders' 1,473, not far from the required 2,383—she could still use both states to boost her appeal for the general election. Although neither primary is open to independent voters, which Oregon Public Broadcasting says could hurt Sanders, it still seems he'll defeat Clinton in Oregon, Politico reports. Even though a recent OPB poll showed a 15-point Clinton lead, the poll came out the same week Clinton was endorsed by two former Oregon governors. A Democratic strategist says Oregon is "prime territory for Bernie demographically, all white," with lots of likely support from young voters—similar to nearby states he's won.

Kentucky, meanwhile, is "definitely Clinton territory," says an ex-state Democratic Party chair. Not only has Clinton gone strong in the state with 16 campaign events (Sanders has held four), she slammed Barack Obama there in 2008, 65% to 29%. But Politico notes some are comparing Kentucky to West Virginia, where Sanders won and where the coal-mining community believes Clinton wants to put their industry out of commission. "Attacking coal is like attacking our culture, and it's part of a whole centuries-old theme of outsiders coming in and trying to tell us what to do," says an ex-candidate for Kentucky's treasurer position. But Clinton has been trying to woo voters back, running TV ads there, visiting a local diner, and noting she'd put Bill Clinton, still popular in the region, "in charge of economic revitalization" in struggling areas. (More Bernie Sanders 2016 stories.)

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