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

Schneider: Will West Virginia keep Clinton alive?

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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. It's not to late

    As much as 30% of Obama's primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.
    Hillary Clinton has been out manned, out gunned, and out spent 2 and 3 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.
    If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. I suggest a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket. Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against US the voter, and against democracy.*****

    May 13, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Sherri

    West Virginia is not a microcosm of America. It is a unique place, with unique demographics. It is humble in origin, wise in character, hard working and genuine. That is a lot like Barack Obama. It is truly a shame that his message has not been heard there.

    Did you know that Senator Obama plans to eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year? This will provide an immediate tax cut averaging $1,400 to 7 million seniors and relieve millions from the burden of filing tax returns.

    If you had taken a few minutes to read his plan you would know this.

    May 13, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Democrat for change


    Be care who you call gullible. GET INFORMED!!

    Who is 'slick'? C'mon... slick Willy fan. Catcha clue.

    May 13, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Tubby The Tuba from Texas

    West Virgina is a white state, I think it has been reported that it is 95% white. Not much of a chance that a black man has to win in that state. Even though they are poor folk, they'll vote for the rich woman instead of the young man born to a single parent, teenage mom. What makes people do that is beyond human imagination.

    May 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Allen deLuca - Florida

    Sen Clinton is correct to keep on trucking. She knows like more than 1/2 this country knows that an Obama presidency will be disastrous for the USA worldwide and certainly within our own country. Should Obama be elected, there will be more turmoil and hatred than ever before. How could he think he can unite this country when he can't even unite his party??? Don't you think our adversaries can see this, too, and will take advantage of it???

    May 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. GL

    Um, No.

    Stupid question. She's already lost.

    Move along please, with the rest of us.

    May 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Robert Barnett

    CNN continues to present bias reporting purely to keep this contest alive and divisive. A pattern is very clear where when Obama is on top, CNN focus on positive Hillary stories, along the lines of will WV re-invigorate the Clinton campaign. Indeed CNN is already baiting the next story by trying to raise the prospects of a discussion around Clinton being VP.

    This is not reporting the news – it's trying to make the news. Objective reporting is fast becoming extinct as sound bites and spin continue to dominate the cable news networks.

    If you want to know the impact on ratings – I canceled my cable subscription. You'd all be better off listening to podcasts of the BBC.

    May 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. IF, Lisbon

    How come CNN analysts have ignored the most recent polls that show Clinton beating McCain 49 to 46 (within the margin of error) and Obama betaing McCain 51 to 44? Seems more relevant than wondering if Obama needs Clinton as VP or what will WV mean.

    May 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. ed

    it should. Until there is one candidate with the majic number there is no nominee, its really that simple

    Heres a question, what 100 of the supers decide not to vote and go to convention?

    But as for WV if he gets 40% it will show he is going to be the nominee, if its over that what does that say about obama?

    If the "presumptive nominee" cant come close to victory (while outspending clinton 2-1) what does that say about his ability to connect?

    May 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Willy

    Stay in it Hillary. The other shoes on Obama has not dropped yet. He's an empty suit CNN but you won't report that you liberal's

    May 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Marla

    HILLARY's SUPPORTERS keep saying OBAMA cannot "Close the Deal" he is leading in the delegates and popular vote?? i think he has "CLOSED and SEALED" the Deal! HILLARY is toast it is over she needs to be a Big girl and get behind him and be a Team Player for the dem party!! WV will not make a Difference what is going to happen with her winning this state the Numbers/count is not there for her GET OVER IT!

    May 13, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. joseph

    noemi in los angeles

    West Virginia is a great place for Clinton, since it is full of white "hard-working" Americans, blue-collar workers, non-educated and the elderly. So it comes down to white people who did not reach a higher education and now work in blue-collar jobs until they grow old and retire………..

    Wow, whoever said that Obamabots are smug, and stuck on themselves were truly wrong. BTW it is well chronicled the problems happening in LA's school system so please keep that in mind the next time you want to talk about people not reaching a higher education.

    May 13, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Mike Birmingham, AL


    Pay no attention to the group that is posing as Hillary supporters trying to rally support for McCain or Hillary as an independent candidate. They are just Operation Chaosers trying to stir things up.

    Vote Democrat in '08!

    May 13, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Thanks

    I'd like to take this time to thank the following:

    Barack Obama–for showing us what true courage is about.
    Michelle Obama–for not bending under the heat of the national spotlight. I knew exactly what you meant, and I KNOW you love this country and have been proud of this country for a long time, as we all do.
    Ted Kennedy–for supporting Barack very early in the campaign.
    Caroline Kennedy–for leaving your home (kids, etc.) to support Barack. And for that opt ed in the Times, wow.
    John Kerry–for his kind words about Barack
    Oprah Winfrey–for breaking your rule not to support candidates to support Barack.
    Hillary Clinton–for showing your true colors.
    Gov. Richardson–for supporting Barack.
    College Students–for proving the older generation wrong in saying that young kids don't care about their world.
    Marie Swartzenegger (?) for supporting Barack even though your husband did not.
    George W Bush–for being the worst president in modern history and in so doing opening the door for Barack and Hillary to run.
    John McCain–for your service to America, but I will still vote for Barack.
    Iowa–for starting the most exciting presidential campaign I've ever seen.
    Indiana Barack supporters–for your support for Barack. Even though Hillary won you made your point, loud and clear.
    America–for being brave enough to ignore the rambling of Rev. Wright.
    America–for knowing that true patriotism isn't wrapped up in a medal pin made in China.
    Barack's Mom–for raising a decent, nice guy.
    Americans–every American who supported Barack who wasn't expected to support Barack, such as whites, elderly people, Catholics, Latinos, Asians-–thank you.
    Obama Girl–for making me laugh my head off, she's too funny.
    Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, for your bravery in fighting a war that should never have been waged. Hold on, we'll bring you home soon.
    Obama Superdelegates–for having the courage to come forward, no matter when.


    May 13, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Unshrub

    This is just stupid, the contest is over. The press is just trying to make the contest last as long as possible for their own selfish needs. For the press to give any type of hope that Hillary has a chance is pandering to those who want to cling on to any hope that she still has a snowball chance in hell. It’s over and lets move on to the healing process.

    May 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Me

    You have to appreaciate her stamina, she keeps on going going and going kind of like that Cow in the middle of the road that wouldn't die in "Me myself and Irene"
    Hillary, enough is enough! Let us keep at least the good memories from the Clinton era.
    It is over!!! Get out already !!!

    May 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. Punisher

    Not just keep her campaign alive, Hillary Clinton will be the NOMINEE for the Democratic Party. DNC KNEW Obama can't win in General Election, moderate democrats do NOT trust Obama with our NATIONAL SECURITY. They'd vote for McCain if Hillary is not the nominee, count me me on that.

    May 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Rick in Florida


    May 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. lynn

    Hillary.....For President.....

    If you cannot run as an independent....WE will write you in....

    or not vote at all.....listen superdelegates.....there are millions of us!

    No Obama....WHO is HE?????....No Wright....No Michelle....

    May 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Ready for Change

    Pretty funny to hear Obama supporters now threatening Hillary supporters who will vote for McCain with Roe V Wade lol. Most of us, are past worrying about Roe V Wade, so if it matters to you who is on the supreme court, i suggest you vote for someone who can get elected. Most all of the people I know in the service, and I know a few, and some are family, trust McCain to do the right thing for them and for this country. Now I don't think many of you posting on here all day are serving your country, so I think I'll listen to the ones who are. If you think the rest of us are going to follow along with Obama like lemmings to "support" a party that has done nothing but trash half of it's memebers, the half that built, supported and voted for that party. Well, you are just out of your minds if you think McCain doesn't look better than that to me. I'm betting I'm not alone either.

    May 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Bye-bye Hillary

    Democrat but Still Thinking - WOW aren't you sly for twisting WORDS!!

    Obama said: “I understand that Senator Clinton periodically, when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal.”

    How is this a nasty thing to say???????????? It's totally correct.

    He means DOWN IN THE POLLS - not down emotionally? He's not talking about PMS? GOD - I'm a woman and just talking to you is making my IQ go DOWN.

    Now mentioning Hillary judgement when her husband was cheating -
    That was a stupid thing for Michelle to say - it was also very spot on! Any self-respecting woman would have left and you know it! Hillary stayed with Bill for political reasons - to gain a seat in the Senate and the White House - it' equal to being a "gold digger" and I cannot people like her in power – enough said!

    May 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Anon

    Who's paying the bill for that phone she is using?

    May 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. All Are Welcome

    Are the rumors true? Is she giving a concession speech tonight?

    May 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. MM

    "If Obama wins then I'll vote for McCain and you all will get the government you deserve". ...... Will you be moving to another country? Won't you also be living under this same government? What a statement! I am soooo tired of the bickering going on here and the posturing that if my candidate doesn't win then I'm going to take my ball and go home. This is way too important to act like children.

    May 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. M.S. Indiana

    We could not vote her out, we could not stop her by not giving her money, the super delegates could not stop her... i wonder if she will still be fighting when we have a new president....

    May 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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