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CNN: Clinton will win Ky. Democratic primary

Posted: 9:43 PM, May 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-18 00:27:16-04

With a razor-thin lead, Hillary Clinton will win Kentucky's Democratic presidential primary, CNN projected just before midnight Tuesday.

The margin between Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders was less than a half-percent. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told CNN earlier in the evening that Clinton appeared to be the "unofficial winner."

"I do believe ... that based on what we are seeing coming in, that Kentucky will remain in a win column for the Clintons," Grimes said.

Clinton swept Northern Kentucky's three most urban counties -- Boone, Kenton and Campbell -- albeit by a narrow margin of just 738 votes from 21,756 cast.  

At a campaign rally in Carson, California, Sanders said he managed to do well in Kentucky even though the state does not allow independents to vote in the Democratic primary. He also noted that Clinton defeated then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in Kentucky by a large margin in 2008.

Still, the end result won't change the overall arc of the race for the Democratic nomination.

RELATED: Get Kentucky election results

The two candidates will more or less split the delegates available in the state. That's a victory for Clinton, as she pushes ever closer to securing her party's nomination.

Thanks to party rules that award delegates proportionally, Clinton has maintained her steady march toward securing the 2,383 delegates it takes to win their party's nomination. Clinton began the night just 140 delegates shy of that number.

In California, Sanders said many people have suggested that he drop out of the presidential race. But he said he's in the race until the last ballot. He won Oregon's Democratic presidential primary, also held Tuesday.

Sanders told supporters Clinton "might get nervous," but he thinks his campaign is "going to win here in California." The nation's largest state holds its primary on June 7.