Bernie Sanders, Hillary and Bill Clinton to campaign in Kentucky this week

05/01/2016 12:36 PM

UPDATED As his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination heads to Appalachia next week, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally at Louisville’s Waterfront Park on Tuesday.

Sanders is scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. at the park’s Great Lawn in his first campaign stop in Kentucky, with doors opening at 4 p.m.

Entrance will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and the campaign recommends those hoping to attend RSVP here.

The event comes two weeks ahead of the May 17 primary and as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, embarks on her own swing through eastern Kentucky and Appalachia Monday and Tuesday.

Clinton will stop in Ashland and Williamson, W.Va., on Monday and in West Virginia on Tuesday before delivering a speech on jobs and the economy in Ohio, according to the campaign.

Bill Clinton is also scheduled to campaign in Kentucky on Tuesday, with stops planned in Morehead, Lexington and Louisville, according to his wife’s campaign.

Hillary Clinton, who holds a commanding 808-delegate lead with 217 needed to secure her party’s nomination, has come under fire for her recent remarks that she would “put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of business” as president. In fact, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has called on Clinton to apologize and made her comments central to a recent emailed fundraising pitch.

Clinton won Kentucky by 35.6 percent of the vote during the 2008 primary against President Barack Obama, and she’s won other southern states by similarly lopsided margins thus far in 2016, averaging 42 percent victories in the nine contests.

Her closest win came in North Carolina, where she beat Sanders by 13.8 percent March 15. That’s the same margin by which she won in nearby Ohio that day.

Recent polling shows the race has tightened in Kentucky.

In March, Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling found Clinton with a 5 percent lead on Sanders among 501 Democrats surveyed here, with a 4.4 percent margin of error. The same polling firm had Clinton leading here by 44 points among 610 Kentucky Democrats questioned in June.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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