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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Oregon and Kentucky

Sanders had another night of net gains, while Clinton still moved closer to her inevitable victory in delegates. Sanders defeated Clinton in Oregon by about 10 points saw a virtual tie in Kentucky.  The delegates end up being split almost evenly.

In Oregon, Sanders will collect an estimated 35 pledged delegates to Clinton's 26, for a net gain of 9 pledged delegates.  Of the State's 13 super delegates, 6 have committed to Clinton, 1 to Sanders, and 6 uncommitted.  As a result, Sanders leaves Oregon with 4 more delegates than Clinton, not nearly enough to threaten her lead.

In Kentucky, the popular vote is a virtual tie, though it looks like Clinton will squeak out a narrow victory.  But again, on the Democratic side, a victory gives little more than bragging rights.  Proportional allocation of delegates, means Clinton gets 28 pledged delegates to Sanders' 27.  Of the five super delegates, 2 are supporting Clinton, 2 remain uncommitted, while a fifth super delegate has not yet been chosen.  So overall, Clinton leaves Kentucky with three more delegates than Sanders.

This leaves the night as a virtual stand-off.  If we include super delegates, Sanders closes his gap on Clinton's lead by one whole delegate.

Clinton now has an estimated 2291 in combined pledged delegates and super delegates who have announced support for her. She is now only 92 delegates away from a majority for the Convention.  There are still 946 still available, mostly decided on June 7 when California and New Jersey award delegates.  With only 79 delegates up for grabs before then, June 7 is now definitely the day this will be decided.

At this point, Sanders' only hope is to convince many of the 524 super delegates who have pledged to Clinton to switch over to him.  That seems highly unlikely.  Even if Sanders won all the remaining contests by 60% to 40% AND convinced half of Clinton's super delegates to switch over to him, Clinton would still have a majority.  Otherwise, Sanders would have to win all remaining contests by about 95%.  Even Trump as an unopposed candidate is not hitting those numbers.  Sanders' only hope at this point is some massive game changing event, like Clinton gets indicted or confesses that she is Donald Trump's secret lover, to change the math by such a massive scale.  In short, it is not going to happen.

One the Republican side, there was only one contest yesterday: Oregon.  Trump is now running unchallenged, but still managed to win only 67% of the vote.  Under Oregon's proportional system for delegates, he will get 19 out of 28 delegates, with Cruz getting 5 and Kasich getting 4 (and 1 still undecided).

Trump now has 1160 pledged delegates, 77 short of a majority.  There are still 405 delegates at stake, but only 44 more before the final day of Republican primary voting on June 7.  So Trump also will not secure a majority before that final day. However, given the lack of any active opponents, his victory also seems inevitable.

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