Democratic presidential campaigns focus on Kentucky as primary n - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Democratic presidential campaigns focus on Kentucky as primary nears

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be campaigning in Kentucky this weekend.

The state has become ground-zero for the Democrats running for president.

It's unusual that Kentucky is still in play this late in the primary process, but for both Sanders and Clinton, the state is playing a big role in delegate math and momentum.

The Clinton family has barnstormed the state over the past two weeks. By next Tuesday's primary, Hillary herself will have visited Kentucky three times.

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, has made two trips to the state.

Even former First Daughter Chelsea has stumped in Kentucky for her mom, who won Kentucky in 2008 and has the backing of most Democratic leadership.

“I think people know that she's got a lifetime, not only of commitment, but of getting the job done,” said Clinton’s National Campaign Chairman John Podesta in an interview with WDRB News.

But the insurgent Sanders is not to be outdone. He has also invested significant time and resources to Kentucky; opening offices, running ads and holding rallies across the state.

“I think that the message of an economy that works for everyone resonates extremely strongly here,” said Kass Bessert, Kentucky Director of the Sanders campaign.

Clinton needs less than 200 delegates to clinch the nomination, so Kentucky's 60 are important.

But Kentucky is also seen as Clinton's best chance to slow Sanders' momentum after he notched big wins in Indiana and West Virginia.

“I think Kentucky would be a place that she could start trying to do that. It doesn't look well if you're the Democratic nominee, and you limp into the convention. And, right now, she's beginning to limp in,” said University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton.

If Sanders can win Kentucky, it will help make his case as he tries to flip super-delegates who now support Clinton.

“We are hoping to get as many voters out as possible, particularly here in Kentucky, to show the party that this is a populist movement. This is a movement that resonates with the people,” Bessert said.

Bottom line, there is a lot at stake in Kentucky for both camps on May 17.

“Momentum. I think we want to finish strong,” Podesta said.

Kentucky Republicans have already voted for President. Donald Trump won the GOP caucus in March.

Clinton will speak at the Union of Carpenters and Millwrights Training Center in Louisville on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. Doors open at 12:15 p.m.

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