May 13th, 2008
10:45 PM ET
10 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. spencer

    You Obama supporters better quit dissing Hillary........

    May 14, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  2. Linda, Kentucky

    Why would Hillary Clinton and her followers be willing to tear the Democratic party to pieces? What's to be gained from that?

    It's nice to win and feel important, but it's better to be a team player. The majority of voters, states, pledged delegates, and superdelegates have come out for Obama. So join the team and work together to bring sanity back into the White House.

    I'm a 50+ year old white woman and a fighter, but I know when to face facts. Hillary and her followers need to grow up and look at the bigger picture.

    May 14, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  3. John

    Mike,Obama was not in the Senate then.The senate minorty,republican leader,a kentucky gentry voted for the war.Sen.McCain voted for the war!So please let our heroes rest inpeace.It is an insult to revoke their names just because A voted and B did not.The military is more complex than that.Don't forget,Obama said he would attack any army or regime that messed with USA! Do you see the difference if any at all.Let us move forward and establish peace in the universe,and gain friends of the worl we have lost because of the wars.

    May 14, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  4. Kim

    What I love is the way Hillary says the party will be just fine that who ever wins will stump for the other.

    Enough said for me... Hillary quit now, stump for Barack. Beat McCain in the fall and don't for one minute think you're elidgeable for the VP position, not after your dishonest crap. You said that you would follow suit with "we won't count Michigan or Florida" untill you have to back stab your way in.

    You are NOT to be trusted

    May 14, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  5. bern

    Mmmmm...Hillary is, as she said, obviously preferred by undereducated white voters who have relatively low paying jobs. Nothing new there. The establishment types have always sought to exploit differences between people. That is how they got to be establishment types in the beginning. So now Hillary, having aligned herself with with these so-called undereducated white voters, aligns herself once again with old style politics. Divide and conquer at any cost. I wish she had instead had the courage to say to those voters that they have been pawns too long. That their real interest is with Obama. I wish Hillary had the courage to tell those voters that she did not want their support if it is based on non-support of Obama because of the color of his skin (otherwise known as the "experience" argument). But then I Clinton...just be dreaming.

    May 14, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  6. Jody Monroe

    Is "white rural uneducated voters" code name for "prejudiced in-bred hill-billies (with low IQs) living in the dark ages"? And WHY is Hillary happy they are supporting her? What does that say about her?

    May 14, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  7. Peter Damoah-Afari

    Obama 1881; very near the finishing line.............Who says delegates are not the main point in this game?....Hahahahahah............Obama all the way!!!

    May 14, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  8. rolly of los angeles

    I thank you all Hillary's supporter for your continued support to her.
    I'm asking you guy to log in to her site & make contribution for her campaign. She need us now more than ever. We can when this, don;t believe to all BS you hearing. HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT

    May 14, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  9. Larry

    All of this hype for a positive 9 delegates that Clinton got and that Obama will wipe out over the next two days with the expected Super Delegate haul. Think about it!!

    She's playing her supporters. No way she is the champion of the common man she proclaims.

    May 14, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  10. Isabella , Canada

    I admire Hillary Clinton and would love to see her become the nominee because I do think she is the better candidate to beat McCain in the general election.
    She is smart and has shown great strenght when climbing many hurdles , the press has been biased against her whilst giving Obama a free ride.
    Does anybody really know who Obama is. His resume is pretty thin and to vote 133 times "Present " , means he failed to do his duty as an elected official.
    How can people explain a vote for one of the most liberal and inexperienced Senators for President when so far he has only ran on a lot of political rhetoric.
    He is a phoney and has a lot of people fooled..!!!

    May 14, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  11. Jeanne

    I think most people are voting for Clinton because she's got a brand name they recognize, not because she's a better candidate. I think she's more like Bush than McCain, in some respects (i.e. stubborness, getting her own way).

    May 14, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  12. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    Cause they are HILLBILLIES to the core, so why not vote for Hillary + Bill combo.

    Maybe WV just liked her vote FOR the Iraq war, FOR NAFTA, FOR No Child Left Behind and her experience dodging snipers, making millions and not doing any real work in the last 30 years.

    May 14, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I think that Hillary's overwelming win in West Virginia should make the Democratic Party stop and think about who could best beat McCain in the fall. I think Hillary should be the nominee, that is if the Democrats want to take back the White House. I feel she is our only hope!!!!

    HILLARY '08!!!

    May 14, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |


    May 14, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  15. Chris Prashad

    Are we missing a very important factor where the Obama and Clinton political campaign is concerned? There is a purpose being worked out here controlled by a higher power to groom Obama into a better , stronger, Presidential Candidate. If Senator Clinton drops out of the race now that purpose will be defeated. Jerimiah Wright is part of that purpose. When the primaries are over, Senator Clinton will work towards uniting the Democratic Party and her supporters will come to realise this purpose and support their party's nominated candidate in order to bring about the desired change, and help to rebuild this great country. Skin color and race should not be an influential factor in a voter's decision making. This is demonic in nature.

    Chris Prashad

    May 14, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  16. Kris

    I think Obama let Hillary win W.V. because he wants her to have her moment in the sun. Lets face it, no matter which one is the candidate, we will be making MAJOR history as Americans. Why wouldn't he let her enjoy the fight, her chance at being part of that. Her supporters also want their 15 minutes of fame and all deserve it. I think Obama will be the nominee, and he deserves that. He does represent the future of American politics. If anyone believes that Hillary will be able to change anything going on in Washington right now, I think they are wrong. She is very polarizing, just look at how she has run her campaign. Many republicans in Washington do not like her and would be unwilling to go along with her on very little. I think Obama genuinely wants the American people to be a part of the White House. He has run an excellent campaign and his reputation for reaching across party lines preceded him, it was one of the first things I learned about him. People seem to be afraid of his so-called lack of experience. When I became a mom at 19, many people thought I was too young. But, now at 39 I have proved them all wrong. My kids are happy, smart, and I have taught them to be good decision makers. I'd say my inexperience at 19 was overridden by my good judgment and intuition. I believe Obama possesses those same sensibilities or otherwise he probably wouldn't have decided to run for president in the first place. You all have seen what these candidates go through, would you go through all of that unless you thought you could handle it or the job. Probably not. No one seems to be giving him much credit for making it this far against the Clinton brand of politics. That in itself should be a testament to the kind of person Obama it.

    May 14, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  17. JAZZ

    Congrats Hill! Thanks WV! If Hillary were a white MAN, NO ONE would be saying Quit the race. You can bet the farm on it.
    Superdelegates should not have incessantly backstabbed Hillary on the eve of the primaries. There will be pay back in november. Two things most people loathe, backstabbers and people who break-in-line. Guess who's guilty of both?

    Women have the right to vote and the right to campaign for the presidency. A fine mess you've gotten us into Dean. YEEEE HAAAAW!

    May 14, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  18. Carl

    maybe if a bunch of you woke up and realized America can no longer lump today's policies in 2 parties and 2 parties only, then we wouldn't have so much fighting in our own country and bickering these days....

    obama and clinton have such differences because the new era of American politics has finally allowed socialism to get a running start (Obama and Clinton, but she is not as bad with her policies).

    I mean seriously, McCain is more of a Democrat than a Republican (heavy spending, doesn't mind the taxes, likes war... if you dont' agree with me on this, check out EVERY democrat from Teddy all the way to LBJ)....

    the truth is Obama supporters want a socialist change in America, yet running under the Democratic party...

    Clinton is more a democrat, but has socialist policies... McCain is more on the democrat side than republican, but most religious conservatives vote republican anyway not because it's what they believe is right, but because today's republicans use the Bible as a means to policy... big no no... even if it may contradict the Bible...

    Ron Paul is the true Republican out of all this, and he is laughed at in his own party because that is how dumbed down they have become...

    We need at least 2 or 3 parties on top of democrat and republican to even get politics working again...

    May 14, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  19. Dcooper

    tonight just tells the story...obama can't do it without Clinton

    Face it and pull it together.....

    May 14, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  20. tracker

    Please..IF IF IF..Get over it the war issue ended long ago..You cry no matter what Hillary say's or does..You must be one of those Americans who wanted to go to war along with everyone the shoe is on the other vote and your whinning...You keep forgetting Obama didn't vote on most of the issues...BUT...that's o.k. he is still learning what they are....It is Obama that has all the anti-american friends....Not for one second will he get in the white house..You are so good at looking at the polls forget we will not vote for a person that has so many ties to the people like Rezko,Farrakahn,and lets not forget Wright...You people must be is the only reason i can think of that you would want to vote for Obama...Talk about bomb...bomb...bomb..If Obama get's in we will have to bring our service men and women home to protect us fron our president...

    May 14, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  21. Jackie

    Obama is not electible. That's it.

    May 14, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  22. CA Independent Chris

    Wouldn't it be nice if the uneducated, the ignorant and the downright stupid actually respected educated intelligence and took their cue from it? It sure would! But I guess if they did that, then they would actually read and might not then be so uneducated, ignorant and stupid.

    "Hey now, that one there's just like me! I reckon I'd like to have a beer with that fella. Yup, that's where my vote's a-goin!"

    May 14, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  23. Debbie Pierce

    West Virginia showed us that the only candidate who can beat John McCain in the fall is Hillary. They need to make her the nominee,that is if they want to take back the White House and save us from 4 more year's of Bush tactics!!!!

    HILLARY ,08!!!

    May 14, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  24. Dcooper

    Hey double standard Obama campaign!!

    Yesterday Obama camp said –" WV has the whitest population in the country" If the Clinton camp would have said that about North Carolina

    She beat him by 60 points....Reality has set in.....

    Do you want to win in November? Obama will lose by a landslide!!!

    May 14, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  25. cleareyes

    God is watching, Hillary is gold, she shines no matter what!

    Hillary, we, the people from every corner love you and stay with you all the way!

    ONLY THE STRONGEST TO BE RESPECTED! Hillary is the ONLY ONE to lead our country forward!!!!!

    May 14, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
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