US media projected that Clinton might win the first of two Democratic nominating tests in Kentucky on Tuesday, but rival Barack Obama was favoured to win Oregon later in the evening and reach a major milestone in the race.
Clinton had been a top favourite in Kentucky, a bastion of the white working class voters who have been her biggest supporters. But the results there and in Oregon will give Obama a majority of pledged delegates. He hopes that landmark will signal the beginning of the end of their grueling Democratic race to contest November’s presidential election against Republican John McCain.
Obama, an Illinois senator, could still be about 50 delegates short of the 2,026 needed to win the nomination at the Democratic convention in August, but he hopes the milestone will send more undecided super delegates flooding his way. Obama contends those undecided super delegates, who have been trending his way heavily in recent weeks, should support him because he won the most delegates in state voting.
Oregon and Kentucky have a combined 103 delegates at stake on Tuesday. A delegate count by MSNBC gives Obama 1,917 delegates to Clinton’s 1,725. After Tuesday, just three more contests will remain with 86 delegates at stake. Slightly more than 200 superdelegates remain uncommitted.