There are still many Oregon votes left to count, with those voters literally mailing it in, but it looks like Bernie Sanders will win just 55% of the vote there. Hillary Clinton looks to have just edged Sanders in Kentucky on the strength of her showing in Louisville. Lexington barely went her way, and it could still come out that Sanders wins the delegate tie there.
So a tie and 55% of the vote is a bad night? Well, kind of. Our model had Kentucky about where it is (though we had guessed it might look more like West Virginia, where Sanders won handily), but predicted Oregon coming out closer to where Washington voted where Sanders won 73% of the vote and nearly 50 delegates more than Clinton. Our model had him winning 70-80% in Oregon.
It looks like he’ll get something closer to 55% of the vote there, instead.
On the whole, it looks like Sanders will pull in 20 delegates fewer than we predicted. None of that changes the outcome too much; we still have him heading into Philadelphia with a nearly 400 delegate deficit. It does, however, possibly suggest that Democratic voters are beginning to coalesce around Clinton as the nominee and it weakens Sanders’ narrative heading into the big June 7 contests – especially California.
Right now, we have Clinton winning California 54.3% to 45.7%, but polling is several weeks old at this point. We fully expect that to be the last real day of the nominating process. Clinton should both clinch a 350+ delegate lead and should be just 150 delegates short of the 2,383 she needs for the nomination. To pull to a tie, Sanders would need to convince upwards of 300 superdelegates who have already declared for Clinton to switch their vote, which is not going to happen.