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Bernie and Hillary Each Won a State at Yesterday’s Primaries

With the presidential election narrowed down to just three candidates, America is finally focusing on the Democratic side of the race. It’s the final showdown for the Dems. The ultimate battle. Sanders v. Clinton is about to get very real.

Whether you #FeelTheBern or shout #HillYes from your rooftop, here is all the action that happened in last night’s Kentucky and Oregon primaries to satisfy your inner political junkie.

Bernie Sanders Won Oregon

As results flooded in by mail in Oregon, Bernie Sanders was able to emerge victorious in the Western state. The New York Times reported that he won over 55 percent of the vote, overtaking all but two counties.

According to Vox, Sanders may have proven so popular in Oregon because it combines some of his best proven demographics—whites, youth voters and progressives. Apparently, Oregon instituted a new system in which every person with a driver’s license who is old enough to vote is automatically registered. The state has seen a 21 percent increase in voters under the age of 30 because of this. We all know that young people love Sanders…Young people and birds.

Hillary Won Kentucky…By Less Than a Point

According to The New York Times, Hillary Clinton managed to beat Sanders by less than half a percentage point in Kentucky—which is fewer than 2,000 votes. The results were so close that the delegates will likely be split evenly between the two candidates.

Clinton grasped a hard-won victory in the state. This required quite a bit of last minute rallies in order to avoid a two-loss primary day. The frontrunner did not make a speech, but did post “We’re always stronger united” to her Twitter.

In 2008, Clinton beat President Barack Obama handily in Kentucky during the primaries, by 35 whole percentage points. This time, it wasn’t so easy for her. This may be because of the former Secretary of State’s comments claiming she will put coal “out of business.” The state has suffered huge layoffs in the coal industry already, with about one in 10 coal employees losing their jobs in the beginning of 2015. Coal mining contributes nearly 5 percent of Kentucky’s GDP. Although Clinton’s coal comments may have been thoughtless or directed at green energy supporters, they ended up losing her West Virginia and almost losing Kentucky.

Hillary Is Holding Out Hope for California and the Garden State

Although CNN puts Clinton at a 96 percent chance of clinching the Democratic nomination, the frontrunner would probably prefer to stop losing primaries. They don’t hurt her chances mathematically so much as they symbolize deep and troubling weaknesses in her campaign.

This is why the upcoming votes in California and New Jersey are so important to Clinton. Combined, the states offer democratic candidates 688 delegates. A decent share of these when results come in on June 7 could be enough to push Clinton over the 2,383 delegate threshold and help her to formally become the presidential nominee. After recently losing in Rhode Island, Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon, this could help save Clinton’s campaign from appearing too weak to compete against Donald Trump.

Bernie Promises to Continue Fighting

The two candidates are pretty close in pledged delegates after last night. Sanders only trails Clinton by around 280, which seemed unthinkable if you asked most people at the start of the race. However, he is seriously lacking in superdelegates (political figures who may change their support anytime leading up to the Democratic convention this summer). To have a good chance of becoming the nominee, Sanders would need to convince a large portion of these 500+ people to change their minds—an unfortunately steep and unlikely task.

Despite his small odds of formally becoming the nominee, Sanders has refused to give up. “We are in till the last ballot is cast,” he said to a group of California supporters, according to the Times.

Some people think that staying in the race could divide the Democrats further. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver seems to disagree.

“You know, as soon as this Democratic primary process is over, we’re not gonna hear any more talk about the minimum wage. We’re not gonna hear any more talk about making college affordable or providing health care to everybody,” Weaver said, according to Politico. “As long as there a Democratic primary process going on, people are talking about issues that are important not only to Democrats but to Americans as a whole.”

Donald Trump Is Trying to Split the Democratic Party.

Throughout the struggle between Clinton and Sanders, there has been a fly buzzing around everyone’s ears trying to butt into the conversation. This metaphorical fly is, of course, Trump. As the presumptive Republican nominee, it’s not surprising he would try to wedge himself into the Democratic race.

To be more specific, he has been rooting for Sanders to split from the “rigged” Democratic party and run as an Independent.

Luckily, Sanders’ people saw through this trick pretty quickly. “Trump obviously would like a third-party candidate on the left so that he could try to divide the vote and win. But I think what you’re gonna see is unity to defeat Trump,” Weaver told Politico, adding that Sanders will stick by his promise to support the eventual Democratic nominee.

Let’s just hope that regardless of whoever ends up being the nominee, Berniacs and Hillary fans are able to unify for the sake of the Democratic party. Otherwise, Trump would have a pretty clear path straight up Capitol Hill and into the White House. 

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Bridget Higgins

U Mass Amherst

Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows. If you want to know more about Bridget, follow her on Instagram - @bridget_higgins - or Twitter - @bridgehiggins