It took a last-minute campaign blitz and a significant financial investment for Clinton to win the Kentucky Democratic primary by half a percentage point over her stubborn primary foe Bernie Sanders — in a state she won by 35 percentage points over Barack Obama in their 2008 primary clash and where her family has deep political roots going back decades.
Sanders, after racing Clinton right up to the finish line in the Bluegrass State, easily won the Oregon primary, and declared at a raucous rally in California that despite pressure from the Clinton campaign to abandon his quest for the nomination, he would stay in the race "until the last ballot is cast."
Clinton did not appear in public on Tuesday night, but her campaign tweeted thanks to the people of Kentucky and said "we're always stronger united."
In the end, Tuesday's political drama didn't measurably alter the state of the Democratic primary. Sanders is poised to walk away with more delegates than Clinton from the night. But Clinton maintains an overall lead of roughly 280 pledged delegates with only one significant night remaining in the contest — June 7, when, win or lose the states in play that night, she is expected to formally clinch the nomination after voters in delegate-rich California and New Jersey weigh in.
But Clinton's cliffhanger victory in Kentucky, where the Secretary of State's office said she led by 1,923 votes with all precincts reporting, spared her the embarrassment of a brace of losses on Tuesday and will counter a media narrative that her failure to finally snuff out the Sanders campaign is a sign of weakness.