New polls show Sen. Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead going into the Kentucky primary, while Sen. Barack Obama holds a comfortable one in Oregon.
Those two states, which hold contests Tuesday, are expected to do little more than illustrate the divide between Democratic voters in selecting a presidential candidate.
Clinton leads the latest CNN “poll of polls” — an average of multiple polls — in Kentucky, 58 percent to 28 percent. Kentucky is dominated by working-class voters, which has been a source of support for Clinton throughout the prolonged primary season.
Obama’s base of support — young and higher-educated voters — are better represented in Oregon, and a poll of polls there reflects that demographic: The senator from Illinois holds a 50 percent to 40 percent advantage over Clinton.
The former first lady is campaigning Monday in Kentucky, while former President Clinton and daughter Chelsea are on the trail in Oregon.
Obama spoke Sunday in front of what his campaign called his biggest audience to date — 75,000 people on the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.
Obama will campaign Monday in Montana, which, along with South Dakota, will hold the last contests of the primary season on June 3. Democratic voters in Puerto Rico will cast their ballots June 1.
Clinton on Sunday told voters in Kentucky that she’s “running for the toughest job in the world.”
Speaking in Bowling Green, the senator from New York said it was a “treat” to have the whole state to herself since Obama would not be returning there.
Clinton has faced calls to drop out of the race since she trails Obama across all fronts — in pledged delegates, superdelegates and the popular vote.
Clinton recently has argued she has a lead over Obama in the popular vote, counting the Florida and Michigan primaries. Watch why Clinton says she’s ahead »
But the Democratic National Committee stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates for scheduling their primaries too early, and Clinton was the only top-tier candidate whose name was on the ballot in Michigan.
Clinton’s campaign also excludes caucus states in its popular vote count.
Obama leads Clinton in total delegates, 1,904 to 1,717, according to a CNN survey. A candidate needs 2,026 to clinch the Democratic nomination.
Clinton on Sunday encouraged her Kentucky supporters to vote, saying, “If we get everybody turned out, it’s going to send a great message to our country that you don’t stop democracy in its tracks.”
She said, “You don’t tell some states that they can’t vote and other states that have already had the opportunity that they’re somehow more important.”
In considering which candidate to vote for, she told the crowd to “think about this as a hiring decision.”
“Come out and vote for me on Tuesday. I’ll work my heart out for you,” she said.
Meanwhile Obama, who’s been campaigning in Oregon, focused his attacks on Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Obama on Sunday suggested that McCain hasn’t received the kind of scrutiny that he’s received throughout the campaign.
“It is very understandable that the press focus has been on myself and Sen. Clinton because this has been a pretty exciting race on the Democratic side. I would expect that the press will submit him to the same scrutiny that they are submitting me,” he said at a senior center in Gresham.
Obama also detailed his plans to strengthen Social Security. Part of his proposal includes eliminating income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 a year.
Obama made low-key campaign stops this weekend, hitting a street festival in Keizer and stopping for ice cream in Eugene.The last time Oregon carried much weight in the primary season was in 1968, when Sen. Robert Kennedy campaigned for the Democratic nomination.
This story found @ CNN.com