Is Kentucky's Primary Winner Take All? The Bluegrass State Voters Play An Important Role For Democratic Candidates
Although Republican Kentuckians got to cast their votes for the presidential primary back in March, the state's Democrats don't get the chance until Tuesday. As with every ballot, the main thing you need to know is whether or not Kentucky's primary is winner take all, since the answer determines how the state's delegates will be awarded. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are still in a tight race for the nomination, and every state is crucial.
The Democratic Party set a uniform policy that all its primaries will use a proportional delegate allocation system, so Kentucky (just like every other primary) isn't winner take all. Instead, Clinton and Sanders will each receive a portion of the total 61 delegates up for grabs based on the percentage of the popular vote they win. In every primary so far, each Democrat has won at least a few delegates, so the same will likely be true in Kentucky.
A March poll conducted immediately after the Republican Kentucky primary showed Clinton with a slight five-point lead over Sanders. The Vermont senator's recent wins in West Virginia and Indiana have prolonged the Democratic race, forcing Clinton to remain focused on securing the nomination rather than shifting toward general election campaigning.
Although NBC reported that the Clinton campaign would stop airing ads in the primary race at the end of April, White House Correspondent Kristen Welker tweeted earlier this week that Clinton reserved air time in Kentucky. The renewed campaign efforts signal that she might have thought the primary would be over by now and was forced to resurrect the ads in response to Sanders' endurance.
Sanders continues to assure his supporters that he's staying in the race until the convention this summer, planning to fight for the White House until the very end.
Later primaries usually get overlooked since presumptive nominees have typically emerged by the time it's their turn to vote, so Kentucky is receiving more attention than it's used to. Donald Trump won the state's GOP primary March 5, with Ted Cruz coming in a close second. The Republican landscape is very different since Trump clinched the title of presumptive nominee after Cruz and John Kasich finally bowed out in early May, giving Democrats voting in Tuesday's primary an idea of what they're up against in November. Knowing that Trump will almost certainly be on the ballot could impact how Democratic Kentuckians choose a candidate to support.