WASHINGTON: Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Bernie Sanders in Kentucky’s Democratic presidential primary, the head of the state’s election board said on Tuesday night.
The tight contest was yet another demonstration of how divided Democrats are in the drawn-out national race for the party’s nomination.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, chair of the Kentucky State Board of Elections, told CNN that unofficial results confirmed that Clinton would narrowly win the state’s primary contest. Grimes is a Clinton supporter.
Kentucky was not considered favorable terrain for Clinton, after neighboring West Virginia and Indiana both went to Sanders. Clinton’s ability to stave off a resounding defeat in Kentucky now gives her a little breathing room, as she looks forward to a lull in the primary campaign before the final contests on June 7.
Clinton, who spent the past two days campaigning in Kentucky, would like to lock up the nomination and turn her attention to November’s general election and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Trump has begun to organize his general election campaign. On Tuesday, he signed a joint fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee. The agreement allows him to raise $449,400 from a single donor by splitting the funds between his campaign, the RNC and state Republican parties.
Trump, who eschewed donations in the political system through the primary, has thus far insisted on mostly self-funding his campaign. The shift to a more traditional fundraising approach could draw ire from some of his supporters.
Trump, in an interview with Megyn Kelly that aired on Fox News Tuesday night, said he did have regrets about his actions during the Republican primary process.
“I could have used different language in a couple of instances, but overall I’m happy with the outcome,” Trump said.
Clinton’s sizeable lead in delegates means it is likely she will eventually be her party’s nominee, but she remains more than 100 delegates short of sealing the deal.
Oregon also held its Democratic primary contest on Tuesday. For the Democrats, there are 55 delegates up for grabs in Kentucky and 61 in Oregon. All of the delegates are awarded proportionally, meaning the results could do little to upset the current trajectory of the Democratic race.
Tuesday’s vote in Kentucky followed sometimes violent outbursts in Nevada that increased tensions within the party.