WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is seeking to avoid primary losses in Kentucky and Oregon. She’s aiming to blunt the momentum of challenger Bernie Sanders ahead of a likely general election matchup against Republican Donald Trump.
Clinton enters today’s primaries with a commanding lead of nearly 300 pledged delegates over Sanders and a dominant advantage among party officials and elected leaders called superdelegates. She remains on track to clinch the nomination against the Vermont senator in early June, but is trying to avoid a trail of primary defeats that could expose weaknesses before she takes on Trump.
Democrats are holding primaries in Kentucky and Oregon as new questions over party unity emerge in the contest between Clinton and Sanders after a divisive weekend state party convention in Nevada put a spotlight on relations between the two sides. During a party event in Las Vegas, supporters of Sanders reportedly tossed chairs and made death threats against the Nevada party chairwoman, arguing the party leadership rigged the results of the convention in favor of Clinton.
Trump is competing unopposed in the sole GOP contest in Oregon, as he is poised to pad his lock on the Republican nomination. The billionaire businessman picked up nine delegates today in Guam, which held its territorial convention in March. Trump has 1,143 delegates heading into the Oregon contest, fewer than 100 delegates short of the 1,237 he needs to clinch the nomination.