Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Aims for Kentucky Win to Break Sanders' Momentum

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Aims for Kentucky Win to Break Sanders' Momentum

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were neck-and- neck in Kentucky's presidential primary Tuesday, as Clinton sought to blunt the momentum of her Democratic rival ahead of a likely general election matchup against Republican Donald Trump.

The race was too close to call a winner in Kentucky. With almost all the votes counted, the margin between the two candidates was less than one-half of 1 percent as Clinton tried to avoid ending the primary season with a string of losses to the Vermont senator. Sanders was favored in Oregon's primary Tuesday.

Clinton holds a commanding lead of nearly 300 pledged delegates over Sanders and a dominant advantage among party officials and elected leaders known as superdelegates. The outcomes in Kentucky and Oregon were not expected to change that and the former secretary of state remains on track to clinch the nomination in early June.

Tuesday's elections took place amid new questions about party unity following a divisive weekend state party convention in Nevada. Supporters of Sanders tossed chairs and made death threats against the Nevada party chairwoman at the event in Las Vegas, arguing the party leadership rigged the results of the convention in favor of Clinton.

In a sign of the tension between the two sides, Sanders issued a defiant statement on Tuesday dismissing complaints from Nevada Democrats as "nonsense" and said his supporters were not being treated with "fairness and respect."

Trump was competing only in the GOP contest in Oregon; Kentucky's GOP caucuses were held in March. The billionaire businessman picked up nine delegates earlier Tuesday in Guam, which held its territorial convention in March, and had 1,143 delegates heading into the Oregon contest fewer than 100 delegates short of the 1,237 he needs to clinch the nomination.

For Democrats, 55 delegates were up for grabs in Kentucky and 61 delegates were at stake in Oregon. Clinton and Sanders will each pick up at least 25 delegates in Kentucky, with five delegates remaining to be allocated pending final vote tallies.

In Kentucky, the former secretary of state visited black churches, a small-town diner and held rallies on Sunday and Monday in an effort to break up Sanders' momentum after his recent victories in Indiana and West Virginia. …

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