Networks Project Clinton Wins Kentucky Democratic Primary With 30 Percent Margin
News organizations are projecting that Senator Hillary Clinton will wind up with at least a 30 percent margin over rival Senator Barack Obama in the Kentucky Democratic presidential primary.
NBC News has projected that Senator Hillary Clinton will handily in a win that most pundits to not expect will demonstrably impact the overall nomination race:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York won the Kentucky Democratic presidential primary Tuesday, according to projections by NBC News, but Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois remained poised to reach a major milestone: a majority of the elected delegates.
Clinton has vowed to continue the fight through the last primaries in early June — a determination that was cheered on by supporters from the WomenCount political action committee, who took out a full-page ad in The New York Times urging her not to give up.
But former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, a key Obama adviser, urged Democrats to unite behind Obama, bringing the marathon primary contest to an end so the party could focus on the November general election battle against the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Pundits on cable and TV shows show Clinton at this time with a massive margin over Obama — at least 30 percent. CNN reports:
Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic primary in Kentucky by a wide margin, CNN projects
With 15 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton was leading Barack Obama by 3 percentage points.
But polls leading up to the primary showed Clinton with a commanding lead — beating Obama by about 30 percentage points.
Exit polls from Kentucky suggest a deep division among Democrats.
….Those numbers are even worse for Obama than in West Virginia one week ago, where 36 percent of Clinton voters said they would back him in the fall.
The results come as Obama is poised to take a majority of the pledged delegates after voters weigh in Tuesday in Kentucky and Oregon.
A majority of Democrats in both states think Obama will be the party’s nominee, according to exit polls.
Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the Kentucky primary, ABC News projects, but her victory will do little to stop Sen. Barack Obama from capturing the majority of pledged delegates and passing an important, if unofficial, milestone on the road to the Democratic nomination.
Clinton has led Obama in the polls in Kentucky for weeks. Preliminary exit poll data suggests she was able to mobilize her base of white working class voters and women.
“The preliminary exit poll results in Kentucky show challenges for Obama and Clinton alike,” ABC News polling director Gary Langer said. “As in West Virginia last week, sizable numbers in Kentucky say they’d be dissatisfied with Obama as the nominee, think he isn’t honest, question whether he shares their values and think that at least to some extent he shares the views of his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.”
Fox News’ notes how Clinton’s base is sticking with her and many of her supporters feel she still will get the nomination:
Exit polls indicate that the New York senator is winning by at least 2-to-1. She is capturing almost every demographic group, doing particularly well among the large group of white, working-class voters in the state.
Votes are still being counted in Oregon, which also is holding its primary, and early returns are not expected until later in the night. Polls closed Tuesday in Kentucky at 7 p.m. ET.
Barack Obama appeared ready to capture a majority of pledged delegates once the results of both contests are known. But he told FOX News earlier in the day he hasn’t “declared victory.”
With just 16 percent of precincts reporting in Kentucky, Clinton was leading 51-to-46 percent.
Seventy-one percent of white voters, 78 percent of seniors and 68 percent of voters without college degrees went for Clinton in Kentucky, according to FOX News exit polls.
The exit polls also showed 64 percent of Clinton voters still think the New York senator will take the nomination.
Next up: Oregon, which Obama is expected to win handily…