May 13th, 2008
10:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Why West Virginians turned out for Clinton

Clinton’s West Virginia supporters say they weren't swayed by grim pundit assessments.
Clinton’s West Virginia supporters say they weren't swayed by grim pundit assessments.

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (CNN) –There was never much of a question about who would win the West Virginia primary. The electorate is made up of older, white, blue-collar voters that have become Hillary Clinton's base.

But they've also been hearing a week of speculation that Obama's path to the nomination is inevitable. So why turn out?

"I think she's got the experience to get us out of a deep hole," said Johnny Nance, a preservation contractor who owns the building in Huntington where Clinton has a campaign office. "You can't win this country's [presidency] without winning West Virginia. We've picked them the whole 20th century," added Nance before saying he'd support whomever the Democratic nominee is.

"She's brilliant," said Veda Hughes, 58, joined by three friends at Clinton's victory party Tuesday night.

Does the impression the New York senator can't win bother her? "Heck no! No! We're in this 'til the end, it doesn't bother us at all!"

"I think Obama is a wonderful speaker and I love what he says but I think Hillary has the experience, she knows what's going on. She tells what she's going to do," added companion Amy Wade, 35.

Several people pointed to potential baggage Obama could carry into the general election.

"I don't think his wife has been a credit to him, I don't think his minister has been a credit to him," said Diane Givens.

Surgical technician Jeremy Elswick, 30, agreed that Wright was a negative and said Obama didn't do enough to woo the voters of West Virginia. "He just seemed like he had his nose up in the air. She seems like she's for the blue-collar people of West Virginia."

Clinton heads to Oregon - considered Obama-friendly territory - on Friday before campaigning in Kentucky, a state whose demographics are very similar to West Virginia's.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • West Virginia
soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. rachel

    sham on you WV

    May 14, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  2. Meaningless win

    Do all of you Clinton supporters realize that Obama won 13 contests by more than a 2:1 ratio? Clinton has only won 16 or 17 contests total. Enjoy your 10 delegate gain. By the way, Obama gained 28 superdelegates this past week.

    May 14, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  3. Adam from NY

    Yaaaawn

    May 14, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  4. No way VP Ms. Pantsuit

    Her speech was her concession speech she is under the bus .
    The" McClinton 3 suck " more Bosnia lies everytime she speaks.
    They had enough going on after hours in the Oval office don't need more of that looking at enough of them is enough.
    Do your math she is a dreamer .
    Move them on move them out.

    Obama 08/12

    May 14, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  5. DEN

    God Bless WV!! Hillary is the BEST choice for America!!

    May 14, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  6. Kerry Chapman, CPO USN ret.

    Some say that West Virgina is a southern racist state. Well thats is
    news to me. IF people believe that and are sending thier comments
    to this site. Then they have no one to blame accept the Democratic
    Party. The people of West Virgina voted for who they believe they
    would like to see. This Black/White issue is what the Democratic
    Party created with thier Primary practices. Between the Democratic
    Committee and News organization it was unavoidable. Personnally
    I feel that a man that has his picture taken in muslim attire, and sets
    20 years with a preacher that is obviously racist, and anit-american
    one should look again at that canidate. If a man recieves a house far
    below the market value from a crook, then maybe there is more.

    May 14, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  7. A GEORGIA MAMA THAT LOVES OBAMA!!!!

    I "still" love Obama, and will NEVER vote another Clinton for President of the United States!

    Obama for President! Yes we Can and Will! -08

    May 14, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  8. Obama 08

    Why? Because they are blind and deaf .

    May 14, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  9. Montana is Obama Country

    Hillary Clinton.. Pander you can believe .. I just saw a statistic saying 63% of WV voters thought the Gas Tax Holiday was a great idea..

    ....... uneducated thoughts from the uneducated Hillary voters....

    May 14, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  10. Bill in Illinois

    Too little, Too late!! Hillary is history – make that Ancient History!! Now is the time that America needs change and she is not the one to deliver that.

    Attention Democrats – stop tearing the party apart and get united before you lose it all. Put a ticket of Obama and Sebelius on the ballot and cruise to the White House!!!!!

    May 14, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. henry

    We all can read the hand-writting on the wall. the clintons don't just wanna call it an end because of pride. she has lost her chances of winning by attacking OBAMA too much, which only brought out the best in OBAMA. she can tarry in the race for a while but she definately not gonna last long. We shall still see how the mighty will fall.

    May 14, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. Anonymous

    I think Hillary should keep campaigning. The media wants Obama to win. What makes the media think that after Obama is the nominee everyone is going to follow him? They have been bias since the beginning of the campaigns. Now I will vote for McCain. I will not follow the media’s choice.

    May 14, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  13. J. Magee

    What's the big deal? The entire country knew how West Virginia was going to vote. I don't believe they share the same common feelings about the candidates as does the rest of the nation. The exit polls in West VA don't reflect the sentiments of the entire nation. The electoral map has changed !!!! The typical red and blue states are not going to vote the same way. The traditional tendacy of the younger voter not to vote has changed. Unless the superdelegates change the will of the voters and award the candidate with the lesser delegates the nomination. We all know what will happen then.

    May 14, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  14. Marianne

    SOMEBODY PLEASE PUT BABY IN A CORNER
    HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE TODDLER THAT RAMPAGES THROUGH THE PLAYGROUP AND PUSHES DOWN THE BLOCK TOWER OR GRABS AWAY THE TOY FROM THE RIGHTFUL OWNER? PLEASE, SUPERDELEGATES, PUT HER IN A TIME OUT!!

    SHE TOLD EVERYONE WHITES WOULD ONLY VOTE FOR HER AND THEREBY MADE IT AN ISSUE IN WEST VIRGINIA. THEN EVERYONE SAYS SHE WON? SHE ONLY WON BY DIVIDING THE PARTY ALONG RACE LINES.

    HER CAMPAIGN SAYS SHE IS REALLY HAVING FUN NOW? BECAUSE IF SHE BATTERS THE LIKELY CANDIDATE THEN SHE WINS NO MATTER WHAT. SHE DOES NOT GET THE NOMINATION AND SHE TAKES AWAY PRECIOUS TIME AND RESOURCES FROM THE NOMINEE SO SHE CAN SIT BACK AND SAY – SEE HE COULD NOT DO IT.

    IF IT IS UP TO HER NO DEMOCRAT BUT HER WILL WIN AT ALL. SOMEONE PLEASE STOP HER FROM FURTHER DAMAGING THE CAMPAIGN AND THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE. THIS HAS TO STOP – IT IS A TRAVESTY – SHE IS LIKE THE MADWOMAN OF SHILOH WHO WANTS TO GIVE US ALL A VACATION FROM SANITY – LET US NOT WATCH HER FIDDLE AS ROME BURNS

    May 14, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  15. Clinton Goodbye

    D.G.
    What about all the Mc Clinton baggage the list goes on and on not to mention zippers ,counting freckles ,lies or "I never had sex with that woman". isnt that listed under baggage?

    May 14, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  16. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    I don't understand the people who believe that Hillary has the experience or skills to help get this country out of debt, she is struggling with her own campaign bills- and has resorted to taking money from children who are selling off their toys for her.

    May 14, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  17. Pat in Cali

    Maybe she can raise enough money to pay her bills and get her $11.4 million back.

    That's great news for Obama. He won't have to help her out of the mess she has made with her campaign budget.

    May 14, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. Mike

    HEY, KENTUCKY! Hillary & McCain authorized the Iraq War which so far had led to 41 brave Kentucky soldiers sacrificing their lives. Kentucky residents alone have contributed $4 billion to the war. Had Obama's judgement been heeded, those (and 4,000 other) soldiers would be alive today and that 4 bill could've gone to 1.1 million Kentucky residents getting health care coverage for a year or toward building 311 new elementary schools in Kentucky. Hillary would "obliterate" and McCain "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb" Iran. Obama has the best chance of fixing the economy, unifying our country, and negotiating successfully internationally.

    May 14, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  19. John

    Congratulations to the great smart expressive citizens of West Virginia! They have spoken,so gentle as gentle can be!! Are you still in the doubting Thomas quater??? Well wake up and smell the victory in W.Virginia. With 91% voters tally in, Hillary Rodham Clinton is leading at 67% with 221,316 votes to Obama's 26% with 85,770 votes!!! a 40-41% walloping.I guess you Obama surrogates and supporters are still manouvering dirty tricks to kick Hillary Clinton out ?? Don't think so.easy with deluge of superdelegates.They may in the long run have to chane their minds.Go Hillary GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-All the way.

    May 14, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  20. JRC

    Why aren't any of the WV in the photos smiling (really, look at them!)? Could it be because they know they have just overwhelmingly voted for a loser??

    May 14, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  21. noneof

    I think Hillary should keep campaigning. The media wants Obama to win. What makes the media think that after Obama is the nominee everyone is going to follow him? They have alienated Hillary’s supporters. They have been bias (except a few new outlets) since the beginning of the campaigns. I did not care who the nominee was going to be before, but after I have seen the media push her aside, I will not vote for Obama if he wins, I think I am not the only one that sees it this way. Now I will vote for McCain. I will not follow the media’s choice.

    May 14, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  22. Jason

    No matter what anybody says, winning by a 40+ percent margin against the "inevitable" nominee is pretty impressive.

    May 14, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  23. Belle

    For the sake of Argument:

    Obama and McCain have said the following states are battleground states this year:

    NH
    PA
    VIR
    OH
    MI
    MIN
    IOWA
    FL
    NM
    Col
    NV
    OR
    WA
    WI

    OUT of those states...Clinton won 7 Obama probably will win 7

    But for you math fans....
    Clinton Electoral: 99
    Obama: 67
    Just on the states HE claims are battleground.

    May 14, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  24. AJ, IL

    Why West Virginians turned out for Clinton?

    Simply because of Bill Clinton. Six out of 10 people exit polled said that having Bill Clinton in her camp is a reason to vote for Hillary.

    Having lived and worked in West Virginia for 4 years they are definitely lagging average American by 10 to 30 years. NO JOKE!

    May 14, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  25. Cheryl

    Why? Because , they have common sense! People are not racist(like you would like to believe they are), it's the fact that Obama cant win the General against McCain...he(McCain) is going to dig up more than the Wright controversy on Obama..you wait and see, he'll chew him up and spit him out. Plus, Obama CANNOT win without Hillary's supporters backing him. Hillary won big and she'll win big in KY...I'm sure a lot of people have voters remorse after....Wright scandal, Ayres, Farrakahn,Black Panthers, HIS WIFE's comments, Bitter-gate, Annie Oakley comment, and more things to come.......So, be smart, check the facts and vote Hillary '08

    May 14, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
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