May 12th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton supporter on WV vote: 'Just wait ‘til we win like 80-20'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A Clinton supporter set the bar in Tuesday's vote very high."]

LOGAN, West Virginia (CNN) – Political campaigns usually look to lower expectations – but one of Hillary Clinton’s supporters took the opposite tack Monday, setting the bar for a West Virginia primary win at an unprecedented high at an enthusiastic campaign event.

“You think this crowd’s noisy?” said West Virginia Senate Majority Leader Harry Truman Chafin. “Just wait ‘til we win like 80-20.”

“We’ve got to give her a vote tomorrow of 80-20 or 90-10,” he added moments later.

A campaign spokesman quickly tried to downplay Chafin’s remaks, saying “We appreciate his exuberance, but we're pretty sure this race is going to be much closer than that.”

Polls suggest Clinton will win West Virginia very easily - recent polls have shown her beating the Illinois senator by as much as 40 percentage points.

But Chafin isn’t the only one raising expectations.

Last week President Bill Clinton told a campaign crowd that ”all this stuff you are hearing about is an attempt to discourage you. That's what this is, pure and simple, hoping, 'Well, Hillary can get 80 percent of the vote in West Virginia', and if only 100,000 people show up it is not enough. But if 600,000 people show up, and you say, 'We want a president', then you will see the earth move.

There are 28 pledged delegates in play in West Virginia Tuesday, so a victory margin of 60-80 percent would allow Barack Obama to maintain a significant part of his 172 delegate lead, though it could slow his momentum.

Clinton herself didn’t completely shy away from the expectations game, calling Tuesday’s primary “a crucial turning point in this election.” She argued that voters’ primary objective should be to choose the candidate best suited to beat John McCain in the fall.

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t believe I could be the best president for West Virginia and America and that I was the stronger candidate to take on John McCain in the fall and make sure we have a Democrat in the White House,” she said.

Obama himself seemed happy to agree with the most optimistic Clinton campaign assessments. “I think President Clinton said that they are going to get 80 percent of the vote,” he told reporters in South Charleston Monday afternoon. “We’ll take him at his word.”

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • West Virginia
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Mel in Texas

    have left so many comments that I now know CNN has me on "ignore." But this means too much to me to not say something. Obama is my candidate of choice, I can list more than five, ten or 100 things he has done for this country. Clinton- I can probably say the same, but no matter what, DEMOCRATS must win in 2008!!!!! All of you people afraid of what he looks like, and that is most of the problem, must know he won, WE have a system, he wins, then to take it AWAY???!! Come on, Hillary may have lived in the White House so she is experienced in how to navigate its layout, but come on. . Hillary HAS ZERO EXPERIENCE AS PRESIDENT, she has now even abandoned that comment but y'all keep it going. Do you want to continue as we have for four more years? How many parents must bury their kids over a war we have no clue why we are fighting, pay required insurance premiums we can not afford, watch as inflation exceeds raises, jobs get outsourced to McBush's fellow oilmen around the world? If you switch parties in November, good riddance and please do not complain when it costs $100.00 to gas up, by snacks for the week or another 100 lives are lost.
    DEMOCRAT now and In General Election ‘08

    May 12, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. Yes we can!

    80/20, 70/30, 60/40....dont you all get it? wont change the mathematics for her....there is still no argument on those basis....she wont overtake him in pledge delegates which is how you win the nominee placed by the DNC.....oh i forgot the rules don't apply to the clintons.................

    May 12, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. ltd1974

    McAuliffe and Hillary will say anything to pump up the crowd. Remember the super's are not risking the Dem's on some sneaky campaign. Face the fact, Obama is the man.

    May 12, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. anthonyb

    Has West Virginia suddenly become a "big state?"

    May 12, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. B - New York

    Senator Clinton is a true leader. She has not once backed down and this is who I want representing my family to the rest of the World...

    Obama's only valid decision was to blacklist the Rev. Wright, the only problem was that he would have NEVER done it if the media did not pressure him... He can not make a decision to save his life so how is he going to save ours?

    Can anyone PLEASE just tell us five things that Senator Obama has done for either his state or our country?

    Two things?

    Thought so... Big mistake people...

    May 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. American living in Canada

    It doesn't matter, Hillary. You're done. W. Virginia only has 28 delegates!!! North Carolina had much more than that and Obama didn't make as big of a deal as you with West Virginia!! Stop hurting our party and back Obama. North Carolina is one of those big states and Obama crushed you!!! He can win a big state as well.
    Obama 08

    May 12, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. James

    Yeah yeah....whatever. WV primary is a beauty contest.

    May 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. Sandra

    Sure, she will win W. Va. but lose the nomination. Bill wanted a third term and they thought with Hillary they could bully this nomination. It didn't work.

    May 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. wolfsbane

    "A crucial turning point" to this election? Has Hillary been cribbing even more from Bush's lines?

    May 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. Arizonan for Obama!

    So what???

    There are 28 delegates at stake. Let's move on.

    May 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. BGIV in NC

    Yeah – just wait, she'll still lose.

    May 12, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. AZM

    This will not matter to the Obamanots....
    Typical little state that means nothing... they should just go home to hold onto their guns and religions...

    No Bama No Way

    May 12, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Paul

    Hillary 08

    We need someone with experience in the White House

    Hillary we are with you all the way!'

    FLA and Michigan must be counted. They are part of the Union

    May 12, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Brad

    Hillary and Bill have sewn the seeds of the party's destruction, just as George and John have sewn the seeds of their party's destruction.

    May 12, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. Franky

    No offense but if Hillary had about two weeks to compete in North Carolina and slim it down, then I truly believe 100% if my boy had about 2 weeks to prepare, then I truly believe we'll see a major difference! Only one week??? That's not enough time and go ahead Hillary, celebrate and declare victory once you win. I don't know what you should be happy about........

    May 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. NJ Mark

    WV....Your vote is too old , too late, and too "RACIST"

    May 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. Bridgette

    Mel in Texas couldn't not have said it better myself. So I won't add anything to that.

    DEMOCRAT IN 2008

    May 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. Belle

    You cannot Brag about the popular vote if Clinton wins by June 3rd. Then the question will become FL and MI. A Revote would be best in MI, but Clinton WON FL fair and square.


    May 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. don

    i think that man is a mad man i wonder why am reply or adding a comment on this.

    May 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Well said Mel in Texas! Hillary being first lady does not constitute experience.

    Here is my argument against her:


    Her campaign is in debt! Can't manage a campaign how can she manage the country?


    PLEASE, WV and Kentucky THINK for yourselves, don't be sheep!

    May 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. California Girl

    The sad thing is: If Hillary loses the primary, her supporters will not vote fo Obama. McCain will overwhelming beat Obama in the general election.

    May 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. mwito

    litle too late sir, you just mised the train

    May 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Hillary, who cares if you win 90-10? Barack has made a deliberate effort "NOT TO CAMPAIGN HEAVILY" in these remaining states, because he wants you to be in the limelight, (even if it is just for a short time) before you are trounced out of this race.

    Folks, I am a little bit concerned though. It is not like Hillary to back off, I think Barack is going to have to watch his back, and his supporters should also be watching out for him. I just don't trust the Clintons!

    May 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Yoshimi Yoshida

    Can you all see what Hillary is doing?
    She is actually showing you, there are people who support Hillary as much as many of you support Obama. And you know there is, in fact there are many reasons.
    I agree with Nancy Pelosi; the race shall continue, and we shall see until it reaches its own ends by right. Every body's voice shall be counted in this election, otherwise people remain frustrated for their voice unheard.
    Your voice may have been heard, so you're done, but many other states like WV, OR... are yet to be heard. That is what Hillary is working hard towards.
    It will be a huge mistake by Obama camp. for any speculation or too early to announce his victory – He also should SEE and HEAR the people's voice if he truly be sincere to respect the opponent and her supporters: Otherwise, unifying the Dem in Fall ends up in hypocrisy in Wshington DC. Can't you see that? Please calm down and see the results.

    May 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. Scott

    Hi Dems,

    Remember that a lot of repubs are either a) posing as Hillary supporters saying that Barack's supporters are rude and obnoxious and they will vote for McCain or b) posing as Barack supporters and slamming Hillary and calling her names etc.

    See through it people – this is the type of stuff that divides not conquers. If you want to hear what the majority of supporters are like visit or You will find that the majority of supporters are great people on both sides, with the same everyday problems and issues.

    Oh and as for CNN being biased, they just want to report controversial things because that's what gets everyone upset and frustrated, and that's when we all spew our vitriol and get the ratings up.

    Don't fall for it anymore Democrats. Question everything that drives a wedge between us!

    May 12, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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