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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

May 17 Primaries: Sanders Gets More Popular Votes, Delegates

Although former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got nearly 2,000 more popular votes than Sen. Bernie Sanders in the KY primary, Sanders is ahead by about 36,000 more popular votes than Clinton in Oregon, where 70 percent of the votes cast have been counted, according to the Associated Press.
The two candidates are expected to split the delegates in KY, while Sanders will reduce Clinton’s delegate lead slightly as a result of his Oregon victory. Dana Tims of The Oregonian noted,

Sanders locked up the Oregon victory by establishing insurmountable leads in Democratic strongholds including Multnomah and Lane counties. But they’ll share 74 delegates proportionally, meaning Sanders’ victory will do little to cut into Clinton’s overall lead in delegates.
…A sizable surge in voter registration, particularly among young voters apparently sparked by Sanders’ populist message, preceded the primary.
Registration among those ages 18 to 29 increased by 21 percent from September 2015 to April 2016. No other age group managed to break double digits, with voters ages 30 to 39 coming closest at 9 percent, according to Oregon Secretary of State’s Office figures.
During that same eight-month period, Democratic registration grew by 16 percent. Democrats now comprise 42 percent of the electorate, up from 38 percent less than a year ago. Republican registration, by contrast, grew by 7 percent during the period. Their share of the electorate remained unchanged at 30 percent.

Thus far, Clinton has received more than 3 milllion more popular votes than has Sanders. As for overall delegate totals, Tims notes,

Although precise delegate tallies can change day-to-day, Clinton, prior to Oregon and other Tuesday contests, counted 1,716 delegates awarded on the basis of the votes she’s gotten. That’s an edge of 283 over Sanders’ 1,433 pledged delegates.
When superdelegates are factored in, Clinton’s lead grows daunting, giving her a 2,240-to-1,473 edge over Sanders…Unpledged Democratic party leaders are free to support the candidate of their choice, regardless of how their states’ voters leaned. A vast majority of the party’s 714 superdelegates – 524 to 40 to be precise – have declared their support for Clinton.

The Clinton campaign believes they can clinch the delegates needed for the Democratic nomination on June 7, when California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota hold their primaries and caucuses. Sanders has pledged to stay in the campaign “until the last ballot is cast” and “take our fight to the convention.”
Regarding the angry conflict between Clinton and Sanders supporters at the Nevada state Democratic convention, Clare Foran observes at The Atlantic:

The challenge for Democrats, and particularly for Clinton, is to find out how to preserve unity as the primary drags on. One question is whether the kind of hostility seen in Nevada will play out at the national convention this summer. “There’s not going to be any violence in Philadelphia,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told CNN on Tuesday. “Whoever the ultimate nominee is we want to unify the party… so that we can all go out and defeat Donald Trump in the fall. I don’t think there’s any question about that. What happened in Nevada, I think, is an aberration.” That likely won’t be enough to quell fears among Democrats who are concerned that unity will be difficult to achieve.

Let anger, chaos and violence define the GOP brand. The last two Democratic national conventions have provided excellent displays of civility, event management and party unity — that’s a tradition worth keeping.

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