Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won the Oregon closed primary on May 17 and tied former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton in Kentucky. Clinton formerly dominated closed primary states where Independent voters were not allowed to vote. CBSN/Youtube
On Wednesday, Clinton had squeaked out a lead of less than 1 percent, or approximately 1,900 votes, with the majority of precincts (99 percent) having been counted. The lead of only one half a percentage point (.5) had the Democratic candidates in a tie race, splitting the Blue Grass state’s delegates. She campaigned heavily in the state over the weekend prior to the primary and sent her husband, former Pres. Bill Clinton to campaign earlier in the week.
Clinton made no victory speech and claimed no airtime in declaring her Kentucky win, instead sending aquick message
and fundraising request out via Twitter. “We just won Kentucky! Thanks to everyone who turned out. We’re always stronger united,” said the Tweet.
Conservative political strategist, Rick Davis commenting on Tuesday’s contests called the evening a loss for Clinton.
“Where’s Hillary Clinton tonight,” asked Davis in a round-panel discussion on CBSN. “Hillary Clinton is huddled around her strategists saying ‘Gee, it’s not so bad that we keep losing, right?’ It’s like she’s probably trying to figure out what to do tomorrow. She wasn’t on TV tonight. She didn’t give a victory speech. She Tweeted out her win.”
Davis went on to say that Clinton, the presumed Democratic nominee was not operating with a campaign that was in a good place. “That is not a campaign that is running on all cylinders. That’s not a campaign that’s taking advantage of an opportunity to talk to people in the country about her campaign. To talk about and contrast between her vision of America and Donald Trump’s. She gave up tonight,” Davis said.
“I’ll be damned if we will allow the Republican Party, whose job is to represent the rich and the powerful, to win the votes of working-class Americans.” – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders
The former First Lady won Kentucky in her 2008 presidential bid, routing Pres. Barack Obama with 65 percent of the state vote. The razor-thin lead in Kentucky, where Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump won the Republican contest, may spell trouble for Clinton as her favorability numbers fail to improve and campaign momentum lags. Clinton also lost West Virginia to Sanders, where he won every precinct across the state. The West Virginia loss was another state where Clinton faired well in 2008. As the race moves closer to the conventions and November general election, Clinton’s campaign continues to lack luster.
Sanders held a 9 point lead over Clinton in Oregon on Wednesday morning, with just 75 percent of the vote tallied. Learning of his win while speaking at a rally in Carson, California, Sanders drove home the message of people versus establishment. Speaking to a crowd of more than 11,000 inside StubHub Center at Cal State Dominquez Hills, Sanders said he had no plans of bowing to those who would say he should drop out. “We just won Oregon, and we’re going to win California,” he said.
The Oregon win puts 20 states in Sanders win column, with an expectation that the Vermont senator, with 26 years of Congressional and campaign experience will add to the tally before July’s Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.
Sanders, who polls show is best suited to beat Trump in a national election told California supporters that Trump must be defeated. A release from the campaign after the Oregon win, noted the Sanders’ camp determination to take their fight to Trump. Quoting the senator’s California rally speech, the Sanders camp alluded to the dwindling lead (3 points) Clinton has over Trump.
“Democrats “incredibly” have allowed a right-wing Republican to capture a majority of the votes of the working-class Americans,” Sanders said. “I’ll be damned,” he added. “if we will allow the Republican Party, whose job is to represent the rich and the powerful, to win the votes of working-class Americans.”
This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on May 18, 2016.