Ricky Richardson leaves his polling place after voting in Lexington,...

Ricky Richardson leaves his polling place after voting in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Credit: AP / Charles Bertram

Clinton calls Kentucky hers; Sanders wins Oregon

No, the Democratic competition has not ended. Hillary Clinton declared victory in Kentucky Tuesday while  leading Bernie Sanders by less than 1 perent. Sanders won Oregon as expected.

Presuming her lead of less than 2,000 votes in Kentucky holds up, this ends a Clinton losing streak and edges her closer to a still-very-likely nomination. But Sanders told supporters Tuesday in California, "Before we will have the opportunity to defeat Donald Trump, we're going to have to defeat Secretary Clinton." 

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told CNN late Tuesday night that there were not enough voters in two yet-to-be counted precincts for Sanders to close the gap, and Clinton was the unofficial winner, pending a canvass in coming days. Many major news outlets early Wednesday were still saying the race was too close to call.

Even as the focus of her attacks has become all Trump, all the time, Clinton poured big money into the Kentucky battle, outspending Sanders for the first time in recent months.

Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told MSNBC the result was “essentially a tie in a state they dominated last time” — meaning in Clinton’s 2008 primary battle with Barack Obama. The front-runner Clinton and Sanders were expected to split the 55 delegates at stake in Kentucky fairly evenly.

Clinton in advance had all but conceded Oregon, where her campaign spent nothing on ads.

The numbers

Find the latest results from Tuesday’s primaries here, and see how the delegate math is playing out here.

The take-away: Democrats’ divide

A pro-Democratic, labor-funded super PAC has become beset by strife over the participation of a hedge-fund billionaire who pushes environmental causes, some of them opposed by blue-collar unions, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Jobs in the energy industry, renewable or not, became a hot topic with Clinton's stumbles on coal, and extend to wind-farm plans off Long Island. 

Trump’s ‘bimbo’ reflections

Donald Trump told Megyn Kelly in a much-anticipated interview shown on Fox Tuesday night that it’s not so much his strident tweets as his retweets of his followers that “gets me in trouble.” A case in point followed.

During their long-running feud, Kelly pointed out, he retweeted his fans who called her a “bimbo.” For a moment, Trump appeared sheepish, but he soon recovered:

“Over your life, Megyn, you’ve been called a lot worse, is that right, wouldn’t you say?”

Down, big dawg

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trying to walk back the impression she left during an appearance in Kentucky Monday that former President Bill Clinton would run her economic policy.

Bill Clinton defined the job more narrowly Tuesday — “trying to help every part of the United States that has been left out and left behind economically.”

Two eyebrows raised by Monday’s remarks belonged to former Obama strategist David Axelrod, who tweeted: “Strong as @billclinton’s record was, @HillaryClinton was ill-advised to pitch him as Econ czar. Folks will be looking to HER for that!”

Take him out of brawl blame

Sanders rebutted charges by Nevada Democratic officials that his campaign bears blame for chaos and fist fights at the state party convention over the weekend. He said his backers were not treated with “fairness and respect.”

Sanders issued his statement moments after speaking with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, who told reporters that Sanders had condemned the violence. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who was booed at the meeting, said she had feared for her safety.

Kalikow: Let’s accept Trump

Developer Peter Kalikow, who raised a lot of money for John Kasich, tells Newsday’s Yancey Roy that it’s time for fellow New York Republicans to close ranks behind Trump.

“I’m a little astounded how some my fellow Republicans just can’t say: The race is over. Trump clearly won,” he said.

A strange silence

Trump can be relied on to counterpunch, as he puts it, via Twitter any time he regards a news story as an attack.

Except there’s been nary a tweet from him over reports about how he masqueraded as his own make-believe publicist on numerous occasions in the 1980s and 1990s, writes Newsday’s William Goldschlag.

What else is happening:

  • Clinton is ahead of Trump by just 3 points among registered voters, 48%-45%, in a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey online weekly tracking poll. Last week, she held a 5-point advantage...
  • Joel Benenson argues on Clinton's behalf that when Trump plays offense, "he continues to alienate the very people he needs to persuade."
  • The RNC and Trump reached a new fundraising deal late Tuesday that allows individual donors to write checks up to $449,400....
  • Trump said in a Reuters interview that he was willing to meet with Kim Jong Un to try to stop North Korea’s nuclear program and would dismantle most Dodd-Frank financial regulations...
  • Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is lobbying skeptical Jewish Republicans to get behind Trump...
  • Trump had a business relationship with a Russian-born businessman who pleaded guilty years earlier in a mob-orchestrated stock fraud scheme, The Washington Post says...
  • Jeb Bush told a Dutch newspaper he has doubts about the GOP’s future. “Parties no longer stand for anything, but become a vehicle for the ambitions of their leaders,” he said...
  • Trump is rushing to install operatives in several states that traditionally favor Democrats, The Associated Press reports...
  • Melania Trump, asked about anti-Semitic harassment of a reporter who wrote a profile of her that she didn’t like, said some of her fans “maybe went too far. She [the reporter] provoked them”...