Bernie Sanders Wins the Oregon Primary

The victory came after he lost to Clinton in a nail-biter.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledges the crowd during a rally in Carson, California.Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Bernie Sanders won the Oregon primary Tuesday night and won half the delegates in Kentucky, but it doesn’t matter all that much.

Despite a few final speed bumps from Sanders’ supporters giving the socialist candidate three recent late-state victories, these wins still don’t put Sanders any closer to claiming the Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton is on an easy path to becoming the Democratic nominee. 

CNN and the New York Times called the Oregon race in Sanders’ favor. With 66 percent of the ballots casts, he had 52 percent of the vote. Clinton had 46 percent.

But on the path to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia later this summer, Oregon bolsters Sanders’ argument that the party will have to take into account his supporters’ views when it crafts its platform.

Still, despite his success out West and his narrow loss in Kentucky on Tuesday, Sanders has little hope of displacing Clinton as the Democratic nominee. According to the New York Times‘ delegate counter, even before Oregon’s and Kentucky’s primaries on Tuesday, Clinton had 1,716 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 1,433. Clinton’s delegate count is 2,240 delegates when superdelegates are added to the mix, leaving her just shy of the 2,383 delegates required to clinch the nomination. And that number was before Tuesday, when, thanks to the Democrats’ system of proportional allocation of delegates, she added to her total, even as Sanders won Oregon.

The primary calendar is quickly reaching its end—with just six states and a handful of territories left to vote on the Democratic side. Each Sanders victory at this point is essentially a symbolic win, rather than actual progress toward clinching the nomination.

At an energetic rally in California, Sanders reiterated his pledge to stay in the race until the final the votes are counted.

At one point, the audience began to chant, “Bernie or bust! Bernie or bust!” It’s the now-familiar cry of supporters who have sworn off voting for Clinton come November should Sanders lose the primary race. Watch the video below:


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