Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton appeared to have won the Missouri primary by a slim margin, but that race remained in limbo Wednesday pending tallies of additional ballots and word on whether rival Bernie Sanders would seek a recount. The delay postponed a definitive answer to whether Clinton had made a clean sweep of five big primaries on Tuesday night. Regardless, her dominant performance pushed her closer to the Democratic presidential nomination even as both campaigns predicted that Sanders could go on something of a winning streak over the coming month. On Tuesday, Clinton won big in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, while claiming a narrower victory in Illinois. In Missouri, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton was ahead 310,602 to 309,071. Those figures did not include an undetermined number of provisional, military and overseas ballots that could affect the outcome. With a difference of less than 1 percent, Sanders has the right to request a recount four weeks from now, once the results are certified, election officials said. That probably would mean a winner would not be declared until May.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’s campaign manager, said the campaign, still looking at the final numbers, has not made a decision on whether to request a recount. Because delegates are awarded proportionally, it’s unclear how much a small change in the vote totals would matter, he said. “If it’s not going to make a material difference in the delegate count, we’re not going to put people through it,” he said.
Clinton’s victories on Tuesday put her more than 300 delegates ahead of Sanders, not including superdelegates. The former secretary of state also enjoys a considerable lead among that group, made up of elected officials and party leaders who are not bound by the preference of voters.
Sanders ended Tuesday further behind in the delegate count — and needing to win a slew of upcoming states by improbably large margins. Both campaigns said Wednesday that they expect Sanders to win some states in the coming weeks, starting Tuesday, when Arizona, Idaho and Utah hold contests. Primaries and caucuses then follow in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington state and Wisconsin.