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Blue Oregon making difficult choice: Sanders or Clinton?

 

PORTLAND — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Oregon three times in recent weeks, while Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton chose to send her husband instead. Oregon voters were deciding Tuesday which of the two they want as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Both campaigns say Sanders has an edge in blue Oregon, where his progressive ideas resonate with many.

Nonetheless, given's Clinton's commanding national delegate lead over Sanders, even progressive Oregonians may find themselves torn between a candidate who stirs their passion and one who is more likely to win the nomination.

“I will support Hillary if she's the nominee, but my heart is with Bernie,” said Richard Walden, who has lived in Portland for 30 years and was delivering his ballot to a drop box in Portland.

Mary Brewster, 62, and husband David Price, 65, took their ballots to a Portland drop box Monday night.

Both are registered Democrats, and both voted for Sanders. Brewster's view: “I think we need huge change — doesn't mean I think he could pull it off, but I thought that it would be important to vote for the things I believed in, and then vote for Hillary in the general election.”

On the Republican side, even though Donald Trump was already the presumptive nominee, he came to Oregon earlier this month to court voters for the first time. He drew thousands to a rally in Eugene, one of the most liberal cities in Oregon and home to a swath of progressive Millennials who attend the University of Oregon. While there, he spoke out for causes in rural Oregon.

In the months leading up to May 6, when Trump became the presumptive nominee and Clinton inched insurmountably closer to doing the same, the contested presidential primaries had energized Oregonians about their role in Tuesday's races. About 160,000 Oregon voters added themselves to the Democratic and Republican rolls this year, most as Democrats.

Oregon will send 74 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, 13 of them superdelegates while the rest are pledged delegates. Oregon's Republican party has 28 pledged delegates, and no superdelegates. Pledged delegates in both parties are allocated to the conventions proportionally to the primary voting results.

Because of Republican efforts to stop the Trump juggernaut, Oregon gained national attention for the unusual role it could've played in the presidential primary season.

As Trump notched one victory after the next, two of his rivals — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — hatched a plan to try stop him. They agreed that Cruz would not campaign in Oregon and New Mexico, and Kasich would stand aside for Cruz in Indiana.

The plan flopped almost immediately. For starters, Kasich's campaign failed to get him included in the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet — which Oregonians use for information about candidates and races as they fill in their mail ballots.

Kasich made one visit to Oregon after the pact was made, and his trip generated little enthusiasm. The deal didn't help Cruz in Indiana, where he was crushed by Trump.

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Associated Press writer Manuel Valdes contributed to this report.

 
 

Comments

Don Dix

The Rs are 'scared sh**less' that Trump will not adhere to party-line politics, which is refreshing at minimum. The Ds are handcuffed by the old establishment that is Obama-lite, err... Hilary.

Both presumptive candidates seem to 'need to be relevant' -- Trump for the shock and awe factor, and Hilary to continue on in the entitled class she has waddled her way within for 40 years.

It would be tough to predict a winner, but it will be quite interesting when they finally clash -- Hilary speaking with that phony, deep voice, thinking it sounds 'in control', and Trump employing his brash, unrelenting, hammering style. When they go after one another, be sure Trump's business practices and Hilary's considerable political baggage will be open to speculation. Priceless!

tagup

The face off will be wonderful for those that watch reality TV or the daytime gotcha shows.....I, on the other hand, would like to hear some substance and detail from the candidates. Unrealistic claims of walls, deportations and growing the military while at the same time lowering taxes, are not convincing because I know they won't/ can't happen. But I don't expect anything more than what we have already seen...petty arguments and insults.

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