KENTUCKY - Democratic Primary - closed
Polls close: 7:00 PM ET
51 Democratic delegates at stake, proportional
OREGON - Democratic Primary - closed
Polls close: 11:00 PM ET
52 Democratic delegates at stake, proportional
At this writing, Barack Obama is just 18 pledged delegates away from reaching the majority of total pledged delegates, according to the ABC News delegate estimate.
Obama is 110 delegates away from reaching the DNC's magic number of 2026 to secure the Democratic nomination.
Tonight will put him over the pledged delegate majority and likely closer to the magic number, but don't look for any victory speech from the Illinois senator tonight. Mindful of the fact that there are three more primaries on the calendar, that Hillary Clinton shows no signs of dropping out of the race before June 3 and that they don't want to be seen as pushing her off the stage, the Obama campaign has stressed that tonight is a milestone in the nomination process but not the coronation.
"It doesn't mean we declare victory because I won't be the nominee until we have enough, a combination of both pledged delegates and superdelegates to hit the mark," Obama said last weekend, per ABC News' Sunlen Miller. "But what it does mean is that voters have given us the majority of delegates that they can assign. And obviously that is what this primary and caucus process is about."
ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer has the following take on the Kentucky and Oregon preliminary exit poll results: two states and two different voter profiles informing vote preference.
"Working-class whites dominate in Kentucky: In preliminary exit poll results about two-thirds of white voters there lack a college degree, far more than the number across all primaries to date, 49 percent. In Oregon, the voter poll indicates that less-educated whites make up about half of the electorate, again well under their share in Kentucky."
"White voters predominate in both states: African-Americans account for just about one in 10 Kentucky voters in these preliminary results, and fewer in Oregon. Socioeconomic rather than racial differences are prevailing."
"Reflecting criticisms of Obama, nearly half of Kentucky Democratic voters say they would not support him in a November election against John McCain, similar to the result in West Virginia. In Oregon, by contrast, only one in six say they wouldn't vote for Obama against McCain, about as many as say they wouldn't support Clinton as the nominee."
Obama heads back to Iowa tonight, the place where his path to the Democratic nomination began all the way back in January, but don't expect him to declare victory and game over. Obama will be joined by Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan who endorsed the Illinois senator in his role as a Hawkeye State superdelegate.
Former President Bill Clinton dismissed the pledged delegate milestone since it does not count Michigan and Florida. "There won't be tonight, unless you decapitate Michigan and Florida, which violates our values and is dumb politics," Bill Clinton said.
Speaking of the Sunshine State…both Obama and Clinton head to Florida tomorrow, campaigning for the first time since the DNC sanctioned the state by stripping it of its delegates for moving its primary up on the calendar.