The Democratic party moved a lot closer to choosing its nominee tonight.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has won at least three of the five states where Democrats voted on Tuesday, with victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
She also held leads over Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) in early returns from the two other states, Missouri and Illinois. Clinton’s staff said they expected to increase their lead in the race for Democratic convention delegates by about 300 — requiring Sanders to stage a near-miraculous comeback in the coming states.
“We are moving closer to securing the Democratic party nomination and winning this election in November,” Clinton told supporters in West Palm Beach, Fla. Sounding hoarse, she seemed to be offering an olive branch to Sanders — who, so far, has shown little inclination to get out of a race that has given him an unprecedented national following. “I want to congratulate Senator Sanders for the vigorous campaign he’s waging,” Clinton said, giving it a try anyway. She has now won 15 states, as compared with nine wins for Sanders.
In early exit polls reported by ABC News, Democratic primary voters had a split view of the two candidates: they tended to see Clinton as far more electable — but see Sanders as more honest. By a roughly 2 to 1 margin, Democratic voters said Clinton had a better chance than Sanders of beating Trump in a general election matchup across Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois and Missouri.
But roughly 8 in 10 said Sanders was honest and trustworthy, compared with about 6 in 10 for Clinton. Sanders has dominated among honesty-focused voters all year while Clinton has won those focused on electability by a wide margin.
According to those same early exit polls reported, large majorities of Democrats in Tuesday’s primaries would be satisfied with either Clinton or Sanders winning the Democratic nomination. At least 7 in 10 voters across primary voting states would be satisfied with each candidate becoming the party’s nominee, with slightly more satisfied with Clinton than Sanders.
(c) 2016 The Washington Post