May 18, 2016

Chaos Envelops Democratic Primary Following Kentucky, Oregon Contests

Secretary Clinton really, really wants this primary to be over. She’s all but ignoring her primary rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who won the Oregon primary last night and lost to Clinton in Kentucky by a razor-thin margin.

Clinton’s inability to put Sanders away was described as a “joyless victory” and a “major irritant” for the former secretary of state, and it reflects “a deepening rift among Democrats with the potential to hobble the party.” Meanwhile, some Sanders supporters are saying they won’t support Clinton under any circumstances, should she win the primary. Check out some of the coverage below of the chaotic Democrat primary:

Politico:

The lack of a big win in Kentucky – combined with the defeat in Oregon – is a major irritant for Clinton, who has already launched the early stages of an all-out assault on Donald Trump, despite not being able to shake a dogged Sanders.

While Clinton has a strong lead in the delegate race, Sanders is showing no signs of backing down or laying off the attacks that Trump has already said will be a playbook for his own battle against Clinton.

Bloomberg:

Hillary Clinton’s claim of a narrow victory in Kentucky and Bernie Sanders’ win in Oregon illustrated a deepening rift among Democrats with the potential to hobble the party heading into the general election.

The split outcome in Tuesday’s primaries gives Clinton little leverage to push Sanders to unify his supporters behind her in preparation for an expected campaign against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who is using the extended primary contest to attack Clinton’s standing with her own party.

Sanders showed no intention of dialing back his fight against Clinton or urging his supporters to fall in line. His spokesman said Sanders is considering seeking a recount in Kentucky, where Clinton was clinging to a lead of a half percentage point.

Boston Globe:

Sanders forces are increasingly bitter that the Vermont senator is still winning races but can’t catch up to Clinton, who has an advantage among party leaders and “superdelegates.” Clinton backers, meanwhile, are growing impatient with Sanders’ insistence on staying in the race despite the long odds against him. The conflict has some Democratic insiders worried that their party won’t be able to unite behind Clinton.

Sanders supporters are embracing social media hashtags such as #BernieOrBust and #DropOutHillary. Many say they will write in Sanders on their ballots in November, vote for a third-party candidate, or abstain from voting altogether.