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. The Lady

    West Virgina has 28 delegates; Obama needs 150 to win Hillary needs over 300 to win, need I say more.

    May 12, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Candy, West Virginia

    Like I said in earlier blogs she won't get my vote. Yeah, I will be honest the people here are backwards and I don't often wear my OBAMA 2008 shirt but trust me when I say these people wouldb't vote for a black man if he gave them each a million dollars. So what does that tell ya?????

    May 12, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Bitter in Conway, AR

    You could win 100%. It doesn't matter. It's over, no matter how you look at it.

    May 12, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Ryan Spaulding

    What does it mean? It means there are tons of old, white, racists living in West Virginia. THAT is what it means. (and I'm white)

    May 12, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Janey

    Do not feel left out, Mel in Texas–I have been left out as well–and I am a Hillary supporter. I Am so sure of her that I still contribute to her campaign–if not now–2012.So many people blog-you have to get in on the first few minutes–Hillary is the first women to have anywhere near the qualifications to be president and she is the best! BO will be OK in a few years–but not now. Let him learn from her and take his turn. She has the will and the demographics and the fight to beat McCain–I don't believe Obama is ready, yet.

    May 12, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. No Hillary

    Can't wait until she calls him President Obama.... nononononoooooooooooooo... I will be mad...I want her to call him...Mr. President Barak Obama SIR....hahahahahhahaha

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

    You have to respect Harry Chafin, eventhough he is wrong.

    One question for me is if Obama loses WV really bad, when he becomes President will he look out for them?

    WV is losing jobs everyday there, but they want to vote for a candidate who doesn't relate to them. Her husband and her made over 100 million dollars in the past 5 years. How in the heck can she relate to small town people?

    The only reason she moved to NY was to the win the senate seat, it was a political move, just like her campaign in WV now. Once she is done there, she won't even look back. She is definitely no JFK, and her husband voted for NAFTA.

    May 12, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. annie

    Hillary outlines what she is going to do and how she is going to do it.

    Obama is vague. Beware of politicians that say they are going to "give govt back to the people." It's a smoke screen for not having any real ideas. He tells you your life is bad but doesn't tell you HOW he is going to change it.

    Obama will be another JIMMY CARTER!! (young voters: look him up)

    May 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. Peter G

    80% ? - 90% ? I wonder what the McBillary gang juices up on before they get their jaws flappin' ?

    May 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  10. Ted in Chicago

    I do wonder what it portends if HRC gets say 70% of the vote

    That would be an insanely high number –

    There will be no 80 and most likely no 70 either – but imagine a 2:1 win


    What does that say for the General Election? And are we ready to say those who voted for her are all bigots? If so – then do we need to say the 90+% who consistently vote for Barack are also bigots?

    For better or worse – the media – the libaral media and yes Fix Noise will have a major say in how the results are analysed and discussed and - say

    Again – set the bar at 2:1 - if HRC does not beat BO by 2:1 or the turn out is very light – then turn out the lights

    But if turn out is good (250,000? or is good 500,000?) and HRC does have over 100,000 more popular votes - What is next?

    I imagine a joint ticket? For we DEMS do want the WH – do we not? And Adlai Stevenson was a great American and lost three times and no DEM who did not get the Working White vote has won an election in a lot of years (see back to Carter and Clinton – surrounded by a lot of Reps who won against some good people like Gore and Kerry etc)

    May 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Deb, IN

    Super Delegates must be blind because Obama can not win in November.

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

    Maybe West Virginia will wake up tomorrow and decide to vote for change instead of the same old story in Washington. One can only hope.

    May 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Mildred

    Obama will not be the next President period.

    May 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Barack Supporter

    She can win 100% of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico and she still looses!

    Barack has set the bar in such a way that she can win those primarys and will still win over superdelegates.

    Needless to say, she has isolated her self in a manor that the super delegates will not go for her due to her racist remarks and and bent on distroying the party for the sake of her nominee.

    She can never win because she ran a horrible campaign and it is her fault and only her fault.

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

    Hillary and Bill Clinton are soooooooooooooooo selfish. We are tired of the Bush/Clinton dynasty. Come on SDs bring this thing to an end. Senator Obama is not worried about this because he knows he is the presumptive nominee. Stay strong Senator Obama God is certainly with you – I can see the writing on the wall. PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!

    May 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Janie, Raleigh, N.C.

    I think I know more about the West Virginia voters than any of the pundits on CNN and I also know a great deal about the North Carolina voter. I lived in WVA through college and have lived for a number of years in NC. The North Carolina Democratic party has a majority of black voters. The West Virginia Democratic party has almost none. There are very few African Americans in any county in
    WVa. The media painted NC as a possible upset for Hillary, but we in NC knew that could not happen. Harvey Gantt the African American Mayor of Charlotte won the nomination for Senate some years ago, but had no chance once the Republicans could vote in the general election. After the Rev. Wright issue was exposed (too bad it did not come out earlier) Obama's support dropped, but he held the very liberal voters and the black voter increased. Nevertheless he did drop by almost 10%. He cannot win the state in the general election. He cannot win WVa in the Primary or the General election. The Democratic party is about to go down to defeat again if Hillary is ignored in the primary. Take this to the bank.

    May 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. Relle Boston

    I am a Obama supporter and I am not sure if I can vote for Hillary, but I agree that Dem's must win to fix what has been a broken government.

    May 12, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |

    Are you tired of paying those high prices at the pump, How about those food bills when you go shopping. Better yet how secure is your job? Or should I say are you going to be able to buy food for your family or gas for your vehicle. What has happened in the last 4 years and prior. Who has cared about

    May 12, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Richard

    You had better win there,..

    Fact is, A scare crow could run against a Black man is those states and win.

    Too bad however that these poor mislead people vote against their own best interest every season and keep going further and further down in the economic ladder.

    When will they finally learn their financial future is tied to struggling peoples everywhere and color has noting to do with it ?

    May 12, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Venus The Super star

    All I can say is that Clinton is just like every other American out there. Fighting even when she doesn't have a lot of money, she's trying to make it, just like a lot of Americans, with the odds against them, she is fighting and looking to the future. I believe you can do this Hillary!!

    Thank you west Virgina

    May 12, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Sean, Detroit MI

    Obama has won this nomination fair and square. He won it while fighting not just Hillary, but also, Bill, McCain, and a slew of other opponents. If it takes ALL OF THEM to battle skinny little Barack (and he STILL comes out on top), imagine how well he'll do against old man McCain in the fall?

    May 12, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. CWatson

    As "the best political team in television" is likely to conclude in the very near future after trying to keep people interested tomorrow: it really doesn't matter because it's already over.

    May 12, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. KE

    Good tidings for West Virginia?

    God bless America and God bless small towns and middle America! God bless all America.

    Hillary 2008!

    May 12, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Devon-NorVA

    You're right Mel in TX. I definitely can't imagine Washington, DC or our government without a Clinton somewhere. But, I am a Obama supporter since day one, and I want him in the White House.

    Regardless, another four years with a Republican president, NO WAY!!

    VOTE DEM!!

    May 12, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. Dean in North Carolina

    I tend to diasagree with Mel in Texas. Obama has ZERO experience as President, also. I believe Hillary will be a stronger force for Sen. McCain to deal with come election time. She does have the leadership experience to lead this country to prosper through all of the issues, and get back to reserves in the budget, instead of deficits of the last 8 years.
    Views aside – a Democrat must win in November to bring this country back to normalcy, and a government for the people and not line the pockets of the oil company executives. How 'bout lining the American peoples pockets for a change!
    Democrat NOW and in November!!!

    May 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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