May 13th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
15 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. Sidney McCain

    She is just looking for the smallest reason thats even remotely plausible to stay in the game. It's OK, except its clear from her statements, she's pulling a Reagan and telling white hick racists its OK to vote and act that way, they can vote for her. She hopes the Repubs will make a black man unelectable and we will come running back to her. It's sick. I don't trust a Clinton as far as I can spit.

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

    I am just another 58 years young, Catholic, white women that will NOT for Clinton ! ! ! I've been for from the start of all this.

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

    Some of these Clinton people have become awful spiteful and hateful.

    May 13, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Rick in Florida


    May 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Daniel

    What are you playing at CNN? You're meant to be a 'news' organisation, yet all you seem to want to do is extend this campaign in the pursuit of higher ratings and an endlessly prolonged contest that is impossible for Hillary Clinton to win. Please stop the spin, and start reporting reality; you're journalists, not king (or queen) makers. The king/queen makers are the American public, and CNN's attempts to tell them it's still possible for Clinton to win this are frankly irresponsible and disingenuous to the great American public.

    C'mon CNN. It's time for you to focus on the real electoral battle to come: Obama vs. McCain. Hillary's put up a brave fight, but the American people want change, not 4 or 8 more years of the joint Bush-Clinton monarchy. It's over. And CNN needs to catch up with that fact.

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

    No, because she is already on life support.

    May 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Foreign observer

    It simply doesn´t matter if she wins WV or if she still stays in the race. Next Hillary will strongly support Obama and his chosen VP !!!

    May 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. LOLerskates

    This is amusing, but its over.

    I can't believe there are even people claiming that they won't vote for Obama because they are Hillary supporters, as if that is supposed to matter.

    The number of Hillary supporters, that wouldn't vote for Obama is much smaller than the number of people who just won't vote for Hillary, or anybody with the Clinton name attatched to them.

    The people have spoken. Obama is going to be the nominee. Obviously, the Hillary supporters don't represent a big enough number to get her on the ballot.

    The race is over. Of course, as the surveys show, Hillary supporters are not college educated, so perhaps math is not their strong suit. Its over. More people voted for Obama and will have voted for Obama when the elections close.

    Hopefully, Hillary has enough self respect to bow out before then.

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

    I am just another 58 years young, Catholic, white women that will NOT for Clinton ! ! ! I've been for Obama from the start of all this.

    May 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Mike in Columbus

    As if she were going anywhere...

    Keep her alive? She can't die... She is the undead candidate!

    Zombie Clinton 08'

    May 13, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Catherine

    If W. Va were representative of our nation as a whole then I could see Clinton having a chance....BUT IT'S NOT.

    W. Va is only representative of white, over 50, no college degree making less then $50K. No disrepect to those who fall into that category but American are made up of all different races...all different educational background and salary.

    To be Clinton became the the representative of under $50K and no college degree. I don't know There is nothing in her history that represents struggle and hard times except the scandals in the White House.

    Clinton to me just identified with people when it's politically convenient.

    May 13, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Iowa We Love Ya

    Hey Barack Supporters:

    When all of this is over, if we ever get the gas prices down so we can travel, stop by Iowa and buy something. Give back to the state that started it all.

    Obama 08 and 12

    May 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. M. Voight

    No, I don't think so.

    She already lost even if she comes on top in WV.

    And as far as been nominated for VP, not a chance. She's done too much damage to Obama.

    The Clinton era came to its end.

    May 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Melanie

    Don't give up Hillary!

    West Virginia and Kentucky will bring you back on board. Don't let the old guard bring you down. They are nothing but male chauvenists

    Stand with your head up high! We love you, Hillary!

    May 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Eric

    The message should be clear to all democrats once she gets on the Obama train and start supporting his nomination for presidency. What seems to be the problem? Are we not sure she would support the People's choice? She has to, she said she would, but then again, we know how that goes......

    May 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. jr.

    How can Obama unite the Nation when he belongs to a racist Religion? Americans quit dreaming and wake up to reality. Hillary has no bad scandals if you democrats want to lose keep voting for Obama. The only thing is holding Hillary back is that she is a woman, but a smart women and a fighter for her people of our Nation.

    May 13, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. fred

    AJ, What brain....anyone that votes for Obama...doesn't have a brain!!

    You are one of those that just follows the leader....Remember Jim Jones....don't forget to drink your kool-aid!!

    May 13, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. sherrie50

    I have reviewed the blogs for several months, and I concerned about the people who support Obama. They have been rude, mean-spirited; not well-versed regarding issues. HC supporter are focused on the issues and arming themselves with facts rather than attacking without basis. Good luck to all the Obama supporters. H hope you can live with yourselves.

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

    Obama has had the media on his side throughout this primary. He has one bad debate and he runs and hides and drops out of the scheduled North Carolina debate. The tough problems the country faces call for a fighter not a runner. The country needs Clinton.

    May 13, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Shawn from Kansas

    Has anyone noted that McCain only won 1% of the delegates in WV...what if all Republicans are mad, and vote Democrat? Now that's a story - McCain the weakest in W Virgina, only beating Paul– that should be noted somewhere?

    May 13, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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