May 10th, 2008
11:18 AM ET
10 years ago

What might West Virginia's primary mean?

Sen. Hillary Clinton campaigns in West Virginia.

Sen. Hillary Clinton campaigns in West Virginia.

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (CNN) - West Virginians will head to the polls Tuesday for the state's Democratic primary between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But what will the vote there really mean after new delegate totals show Obama with a sizable lead?

Some say it could send a sobering message to Obama's Democratic supporters.

West Virginia is expected to go for Clinton big time - and the polls show it.

Clinton has a 43-point advantage over Obama, 66 percent to 23 percent, according to a survey from the American Research Group released Friday.

The poll was conducted after Tuesday's primary results and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

"This state is really Hillary Clinton's wheelhouse. It's an older population, socially conservative, blue-collar workers," said Kennie Bass, a political reporter for WCHS in West Virginia.

Read the full story

soundoff (437 Responses)
  1. Meagan

    1860 1696 Which number is the largest? Add about 15 or 16 numbers
    to each number. Which number is still the largest?

    May 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. JC

    It just means West Virginia supports Hillary.
    However, they are a small state so they don't count in her book.

    May 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. David, Silver Spring MD

    It means word travels slowly in the West Virginia hills.

    It means that some folks there have been beaten down so long they don't believe in their power and capacity to make things right, and therefore are willing to suspend disbelief and listen to Hillary when she promises to make it all right again.

    It means that even in the state where John Brown pushed the cause of abolition into the American consciousness some people can't move beyond racial divisions to let us work to solve our common problems.

    May 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Jason from Colorado

    Oh no, Hillary might pick up a net gain of say, 9 delegates? Boy, that would be tragic.

    OBAMA 08!

    May 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Sandy

    We've known from the start she'd win this state by a large margin. Big deal.

    Clinton thought she had this sewn up. Look at her early ads sitting in one of her rooms at her house. She looks like 'The Queen' .

    The way she spent her campaing money, at first, was insane...demanding only the finest of everything...right down to the biggest floral arrangements and the priciest tablecloths. She didn't think she'd ever need to 'watch her pennies'.

    She & Bill must be shellshocked that more people prefer Obama instead of her....HOW DARE THEY!

    I've been supporting both Clinton's since 1992 and I've had many arguments with friends who couldn't stand them. Well, now I see just what they saw and I can't believe it took me this long to 'get it'.

    I've been appalled at the things they've both said and done and I know I'm not alone. I know many people who voted for her earlier and they've all said they regret having voted for her instead of Obama.

    She represents the past and Obama represents the future. If the good people of West Virginia and Kentucky don't see it that way, too bad.

    GOBAMA '08

    May 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. DJ

    It doesn't mean nothing!! please cnn dont try to spin this into a tight race

    May 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Tim

    West Virginia also voted for Bush in 2000 & 2004. How does this send a "sobering message"? 😉

    OT: Why does everyone call McCain "McSame"? I think McBush sounds so much cuter (and equally accurate).

    May 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. cameleon116

    National polling firm Rasmussen Reports announced on Friday that it will stop polling people about the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton because her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, will win the Democratic nomination.

    The company's vice president of finance and operations, Michael Boniello, distributed an e-mail stating that after 19 months of tracking the Democratic race, it is now clear that Clinton will remain a close second.

    May 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. dave

    It is a demographics thing; I don't understand why Hillary appeals to them. She's pretty much as elite as the come. If the residence of wv took the time to learn the truth, they might see that a candidate that was raised by a mother on food stamps might be more sympathetic to their plight.
    The people of WV are good people, I served with one in the Navy, and they are bright. I would urge them to look beyond the rhetoric to the facts.

    May 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. EC

    NOT a darn thing. Why are we EVEN playing these foolish game?

    We ALL know she's was going to win WVA, but she won't win 100% of the votes!!

    So how many total delegates would she win... and how many will he win? Even if Sen. Obama walks away with any number of delegates, he still retains the LEAD.

    ARE Americans still in denial? This is NOT news.

    May 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Independent

    The poll and "demographics" only show the racial divide emphasized by the Clinton Campaign.

    May 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. gk

    Do not underestimate the power of hope that Obama brings with him. It is stil possible for people in West Viriginia to connect with Sen Obama (and the other way around) once they "get" what he stands for – hopefulness, excitement, energy, possibilities of a bright noble future, goodness, kindness, generosity, justice...and so much more. For those who have very little material comfort, these immeasureables that Obama offers – fills a hunger that is so welcome today, something we have all been waiting for. It might take time and effort to get this message across, but there is still time between now and the general election. Obama foot soldiers – you can do it!! March onwards.

    May 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Daniel, WV

    . . . It means that West Virginia has approximately 28 delegates to be split, give or take a few.

    May 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Benjamin

    The same thing Obama's win in IDAHO said to Clinton's supporters.

    May 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Jon

    Even if she had 100 percent, it wouldn't make a difference! Not only that, they and the main stream media are acting like Obama can't win any of her base over. There's a lot of time between now and Election Day. In political time, that's an eternity.

    May 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Dave

    If you count FL & MI delegates then Clinton would have a delegate lead of 26 and then WV becomes much more important. Obama supporters are really wanting to play down how important these final states really are. I would not be surprised if the courts end up hearing a case about the FL & MI votes. After Obama's big win last week the media was ready to declare him the winner of this race? I think this will be decided for a long time.

    John McCain is looking better and better every day. I really don't think either Obama or Clinton will beat him come Nov. This country tends to support Presidents who are in the opposite political party then what is in Congress. Look at the congressional approval ratings....I don't think the country wants to give Congress a veto free president.

    May 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Is cnn (clinton network news) trying again to boost their candidate ?
    West Virgina's primaries might mean nothing..really nothing...
    Please Hillary,drop out instead of using the race card to divide people...

    Obama 08

    May 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Larry Buchas

    It means Barack Obama has to make some campaign stops to promote education. Many of his ideas promote the advancement of education from pre-school up through college.

    It also means he needs to promote his energy alternatives, including clean coal.

    And Barack needs to realize areas such as Huntington, Wheeling, Clarksburg and Morgantown are potential campaign stops waiting to directly hear from him.

    Please visit real soon!

    May 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Allison Marie

    This is something the super delegates should look at closely, a lot of voters want Clinton more...........let the process finish & count Florida & Michigan.

    Clinton 08/12

    May 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Emily

    West Virginia doesn't mean anything at this point; it's a state tailor-made for Hillary's conservative side. Here's hoping that the media doesn't paint this as yet another "turning point" in the race, when everyone already knows that Clinton will win big here and it's changing no one's mind...the last thing we need is another fictional turning point.

    May 10, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Sharon - NC

    If Hillary takes the majority of the older, white conservative blue collar voters, that's wonderful for her. Same old, same old. However, Obama has brought out multitudes of new voters, young and old, black and white, and has inspired a new interest in our country and its future. I think that's much more remarkable and important to our country than getting the same historical voters and votes. I think it indicates that Americans are finally looking toward the future, instead of looking for what someone can promise them anything (but ultimately never deliver) in order to get their vote at that moment. New and inspired voters represent our future; older, white conservative voters dismiss the future and tend to go for old guard politics and old guard ideas. They are not the future; they are the past. Older, white conservative voters are but a small part of the people in this country. If Hillary wants to hang her hat on them, she should. She is one of them.

    May 10, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Chris from Ohio

    An important story within the North Carolina primary that is getting buried, is the North Carolina U.S. Senatorial race. In this competitive race an African American candidate Marcus W. Williams was defeated by a white woman candidate Kay R. Hagan. African Americans overwhelming voted for Hagan over Williams, at the same time they voted for Obama. This clearly suggest that African Americans do not merely vote on the basis of race otherwise Williams would have faired much better. Indeed, black and white North Carolinas recognized that Hagan"s stand on the issues were far better than Williams. They saw race and beyond it.

    May 10, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga



    OBAMA 08

    May 10, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Eric in CA

    The last sentence of this article doesn't make a lot of sense. Obama should consider adding Clinton to his ticket to win West Virginia? It has 5 electoral votes. The main concern with Clinton, in a lot of voters minds, is her strong negative poll numbers. That could easily scar away plenty of voters to more than erase the WV delegation.

    What a win in WV means, really, is another week of fund raising and Super Delegate wooing for Hillary. It means another week of comments on ticker articles along the lines of "she should just disappear" and "I'll vote for McCain before I vote for Obama". I'm kind of tired of the whole thing. I suspect that many of the people who post here are stoking the fire. The kind of people who show up to protests, not because they believe in the movement, but just to throw bricks through windows.

    May 10, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Tom from Atlanta

    whatever happens in West Virginia, stays in West Virginia. She should run for senate in West Virginia, NewYork would not be a safe bet for her when her re-election comes around.

    May 10, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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