May 13th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Will West Virginia keep Clinton alive?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/05/13/wv.primary/art.clinton.senate.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Hillary Clinton talks on a mobile phone while walking to the Senate chambers Tuesday."](CNN) - What are we looking for tonight in West Virginia? Whether the state’s Democrats will keep Hillary Clinton's campaign going.

If Hillary Clinton wins big in West Virginia, it will send a message: that she has something to say, and Democrats better listen. Clinton's strength all along has been, not just with women, but also with older, rural and blue-collar Democrats. The kinds of voters who predominate in West Virginia.

Are they Reagan Democrats? Not exactly. West Virginia did not vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980, and it did not vote for his vice president in 1988.

But the state did vote for George W. Bush. Twice. They're Bush Democrats, and the Democratic Party wants them back. Obama has had trouble reaching them. He has a message of inspiration and unity.

"We've got to open up our arms and say we want everybody - black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight - we want everybody,” Obama has told crowds on the campaign trail.

But a lot of West Virginia Democrats are hurting. They're not bitter. They're not turning to guns and religion for solace. They're looking for hope.

"I think the message that Barack Obama takes from West Virginia and states like West Virginia, at least from our experience, is that he's going to somehow have to convince older, socially conservative voters that he can make their life better, and he's going to have to stick to the issues of economics and health care " says Kenny Bass, a political reporter in West Virginia.

Hillary Clinton seems to know how to reach those voters. Listen to what she's been saying in West Virginia: "We need a president again who's going to be solving our problems and begin to once again take care of the american people and all the challenges that we face.”

She says she delivers and says she’s a fighter: "It's going to take somebody who gets in there and rolls up her sleeves and gets to work for you!"

Senator Clinton may not win the nomination, but she's sending a valuable message to Democrats: show more fight!

You know, sometimes it takes a woman to toughen up a man.

"Screw your courage to the sticking place, and we'll not fail," Lady Macbeth said.

Not that Lady Macbeth is a role model, but still.

soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. sacto joe

    DEMOCRATS BEWARE!!!

    A lot of Repubs posing as Democrats are posting hate mail. They're trying to drive a wedge between us!

    RESIST THE REPUB HATE MACHINE!

    May 13, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Jim from Seattle

    no..........cnn is complicit in prolonging the agony in the pursuit of profits
    bye bye Mrs. KKKlinton

    May 13, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Dave, IN

    Nothing will "kill" Clinton's campaign so why ask the question.

    May 13, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Loi

    She is a strong woman and a fighter. She will not give up until Obama can close the deal.

    May 13, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Scott, Charlotte

    No, Clinton's hopes have been dead for 2 months. It's idiotic articles like this that feed the false hopes of Clinton and her supporters.
    It's OVER, deal with it.

    May 13, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Democrat but Still Thinking

    As a woman, I am offended by Obama's continuous mocking of women in general. Very unfortunate. IF Obama becomes the Democratic nominee I will be wearing a t-shirt that says the following to the General Election this year:

    Whenever "I Feel Periodically Down" I vote Republican.

    Women, flex your muscles this year. Let the Democratic Party know that we enjoy our right to vote and NO ONE can mock us without consequences.

    May 13, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Joe

    Bill, that's why the media should not have declared Obama the presumptive nominee last week. You'll all be back tracking after tonight's landslide!

    May 13, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Sally

    Hillary is trying very hard to destroy the democratic party.

    This is one middle aged white woman who will never vote for Hillary !

    May 13, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Marshall

    CNN – Please Post or do you want a divided party?
    People...I am guilty of bashing. Yes, I can admit it. But we all are. It is time to stop blaming each other. Both sides did it. It wasn't just the Obama supporter or just the Clinton supporters. IT WAS BOTH SIDES.

    We need to get past the he said, she said playground justice and focus on the real issue...KEEPING MCCAIN out of the White House.

    As I said before, I am guilty. I bashed on both sides. I started supporting one candidate and later changed sides. Who I support doesn't matter because their stand on the issues is almost identical.

    Rush wants us to continue to bash and to keep us weak because he knows we could get anyone elected if we stood together. He fears US...A UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY!

    So let's leave the name calling and finger pointing to the children on the playgrounds and act like adults. Once again, me included.

    Let's end the negative and focus on the challenge...Beating McCain.

    This is my pledge. Who stands with me?

    May 13, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Jewish Women for Obama

    Mr. Schneider,
    I'm beginning to lose respect for you, starting with this ridiculously HRC-biased blog...
    The fact that some democrats may choose HRC over Obama doesn't mean they'll choose a republican over Obama...
    Maybe that's what you and Wolf want, but we're smarter than that...
    Besides, Obama's pretty much left WV to HRC so she can go out on top and with some respect...
    This race is over, and if you don't see it, maybe you are more delusional than HRC herself.

    Obama/Hagel 2008

    May 13, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Blaising

    I don't care if she wins 95 to 5...her message is still incredibly lame.

    Yeah...Blackberry access for West Virginia is REALLY important!
    Sheesh!!

    May 13, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. cozumelkid

    I have practically lost interest in the whole thing, because it appears that a super-delegate' vote is worth more than anyone else' vote. My time is valuable also.

    May 13, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Wake Up Virginia

    Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives as a
    sitting president. The very fact that the people of West Virginia would
    vote overwhelmingly for someone like this, claiming that they are a
    moral voice in this country proves that they are exactly opposite, and are
    a great part of the problem in this country when they contribute to the
    same corruption by continuing to vote these crooked politicians in office
    under the “guise” of morality, using the destructive tool of such racist rational.

    May 13, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Jayson

    In reply to the first post,

    There is no need for the Republicans to drive a wedge among Democrats party since they have clearly shown themselves to not be the racially blind party that they have always claimed to be. West Virginia will just go another step further to highlight the fact that racism is alive and well in the Democratic party.

    May 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Enlightened Voter

    The only thing that can keep her campaign alive now that people see the 'real' her is an act of God and He don't like ugly.

    May 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. vic nashville,Tn

    She never die, Only mainstream media thinks she can’t win the nomination
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    May 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Loi

    "We've got to open up our arms and say we want everybody — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight — we want everybody,” Obama has told crowds on the campaign trail."

    yea, everybody but Florida and Michigan...

    May 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Steve N

    Democrat but Still Thinking:

    You felt Obama mocked women? Did I miss that? Please refresh my memory.

    May 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Hillary or McCain

    This life-long Democrat WILL choose a Republican over Obama. I will vote for the most QUALIFIED candidate, and that is not Barack.

    May 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Michael - Sacramento, CA

    Will West Virginia keep Clinton alive?

    No.

    May 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. AZM

    Never give up Hillary... Let every vote be counted...

    It's you or nobody...

    No Bama No Way

    May 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Shirley-Ohio

    Keep her alive for what, to steal the nomination from Obama. Its over, accept it.

    May 13, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Emit

    WV is insignificant in the whole Demoncratic nomination process. Even is Clinton wins by more than 65-35, she would still be a net negitive for the week in delegate count.

    Whoa, she might win a state where she has been favored by a hugh margin.

    Wake me up next Tuesday please.

    Zzzzzzzzz

    May 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Democrat but Still Thinking

    By the way sacto joe, I am a true Democrat, just taking a stand against mockery this year. We have worked too hard for our political rights and here comes a junior Senator mocking us. That is unacceptable.

    May 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. BIFF, BIFFINGTON...

    sacto joe.... I FULLY AGREE...... AND TOO MANY DEMS ARE FALLING FOR IT....!

    May 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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