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

Schneider: Will West Virginia keep Clinton alive?

 Sen. Hillary Clinton talks on a mobile phone while walking to the Senate chambers Tuesday.

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. Jim

    Because WVa is having its primary today, suddenly it's all-important? More important than the previous 44 states that have already voted? WVa's message of "we whites don't vote for black candidates" is going to be the running theme for the rest of the elections?

    When will you news people learn that we readers can put things in perspective despite your best effort to have ultra short term memory??

    May 13, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Pat in Cali

    Obama and Clinton are saying basically the same thing. But to hear Clinton tell it, Obama has no solutions when he actually does.

    She's copied him down to even saying she's the candidate for change. She says all he has is a speech, then she steals the exact word from his speech. Has anyone else noticed that she's a copycat like in McCain's idea for the gas tax suspension. She showed her true colors on that one.

    Yeah, Clinton, has something to say, "You people will believe anything I tell you because you want someone to lie to you. You want 4 more years of Bush, but this time in a dress, I mean, pant suit."

    May 13, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Kristi, Chino Hills, CA

    It is a shame that Senator Clinton is still running. It has nothing to do with her gender; it has everything to do with her demeaning political tactics. In addition, she is only trying to pay off her debt and if people want to be naive enough to contribute – then let them. After they get taken by her, maybe then they'll realize who the honorable, gracious, intelligent candidate is. Do you really want a President who can't balance her own campaign? What on earth will she do with our money in the White House??

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

    WHY, OH WHY, ARE THE MEDIA STILL AGAINST SEN. HILLARY CLINTON? ARE THEY EXPECTING SOMETHING BIG FROM HUSSEIN OBAMA? I KNOW NO OTHER REASON FOR ALL THIS HYPE. AS FOR JOURNALIST, WE HAVE NO MORE ON MSNBC, CNN, CNNHEADLINES, MSNBC AND FOX NEWS. JOURNALIST, AS I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED, TELL THE STORIES TO GIVE ALL SIDES EQUAL COVERAGE. YOU KNOW VERY WELL WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO THIS ELECTION!

    May 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. tell the truth

    Don't fall for the Republicans who have been pretending to be Democrats criticizing the supporters of each candidate – they are attempting to drive a wedge – don't let them succeed.

    May 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Sue

    No.

    May 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. PA for Obama

    Ah, we don't call it the Clinton News Network for nothing, do we folks?

    Her chances, like her campaign, have been dead in the water since Obama swept 11 consecutive primaries. I know CNN pundits, who are largely in the Clintons' pockets, think it's good for ratings if this drags out interminably, but the adults among us would like to get down to the serious business of beating John McCain.

    And as for Democrat but Still Thinking ..... the offense you have taken is a result of some flaw within you, and not anything Sen. Obama has said or done. A little overly sensitive, are we? I want the best person to win. I flexed my muscle by voting for him in PA and I look forward to doing it again in November in the General. Women like you are giving the rest of us a bad rap as a bunch of whining and complaining hens.

    Too many estrogen tantrums over this election that don't do anything but further reinforce the stereotype that women are the weaker sex. By the way, would you send your son or daughter to die in Iraq? Real women don't send other people's kids to die in a needless war.

    May 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. MICHAEL, PORTSMOUTH NH

    Two thinks, First these "political analysts" state Obama can't win white, uneducated, low income voters and white women. Well, if that's the case who has been voting for him. All the states he won, more than clinton, don't ONLY contain education, high income, white men. They contain every aspect of society. Second, it is amazing how women believe Obama is anti-woman. Again, all the states he won, more than Clinton, don't ONLY white men. It strange that people believe the people supporting Clinton HATE Obama that much they will not vote for him, if he is the nominee, and vote for another four years of BUSH/MCCAIN. Talk about HATRED!

    May 13, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Marissa

    To "Democrat but Still Thinking":

    Tell me, how exactly has Obama been continually mocking us women? Is it because he, a black man, had the GALL to offend white female virtue, by running against one? Or is it his love for his two daughters, or perhaps his absolute admiration and awe for Michelle Obama?

    I'm a progressive young woman who REALLY thinks. White feminists have been among some of the most vehemently racist people in American society (read: Elizabeth Cady Stanton on her views on black voting rights), and it seems like that hasn't changed, apropos Hillary's latest deployment of the race card. Sojourner Truth had to CRASH a feminist convention to give her "Ain't I A Woman" speech because of such racism...and today, in 2008, I have to read your ignorant rantings about Barack Obama, while you FAIL to think about everything that Barack Obama's candidacy means for millions of women around the world.

    And let me guess: When Hillary find pours water on herself and melts, you're going to vote for McCain...because you care about women's rights just that much, right? Riiiiiiiight....

    CNN, PLEASE post this. If you won't enlighten these people, allow me...

    May 13, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. LB

    Hillary not only is trying to divide the democratic party but all of the United States into Black vs White,
    Educated vs No higher education. Is this what you people want in a President. Is this how you expect her to run our country. Is this how you want her to treat you and your kids? I'm from one of those Don't count states. If I don't count now she sure wouldn't want my vote to count for her later if she did become the nominee. NO WAY HILLARY!

    May 13, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Michael in Seattle

    Here Here Marshall!!!!!

    May 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Sharon

    Obama will lose in WV or in November not because of racism, but the hatred he tolerated for 20 years.

    May 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. 35 year old white woman in NY

    Why is everyone making it out like this one tiny small state will determine the general election? There is something so wrong about that kind of a focus. Closed mindedness.

    May 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. PT

    Will West Virginia keep Clinton alive? No!

    May 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. John Smith

    Here is the problem::

    Who really cares about "Regan" democrats and all that crap? How can a generation define its future if it is still tied up with the PAST, the DEAD, and the ridiculous?

    Talk about the Obama multi-voters (green, white, purple, black.. if these are colors we use to decribe people!) of today!!!

    Talk about the "now" and the "future." Please drop this "Regan-Bush" democrat nonsense!

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

    Hillary should run as an Idenpedent third party. The Domcrats not counting Michigan and Florida is outragious. Secondly Hillary won four out of the last five Primary contests. Obama will go down in flames in a general election. Now that Bob Barr is running as an indepentant Republican we should have an independent Democrat. HRC wins that general election. HRC especially wins becasue the election will be win or take all Delegates. Obama has no chance in a win or take all delegate race. The so called super delegates are far from super. The Democrats have flobbed another election. Nice job!

    May 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Phillip Bunn , Bailey NC

    As a white male I am offended that Hillary is expected to "win big" in a state that is primarily "white." I thought that we, as individual states and a nation, could look beyond our personal prejudice's and vote for the best candidate, regardless of that person's race. Hillary's constituency in West Virginia proves that "some states" are still activated in a perpetual "Jim Crow" era and not what is best for the democratic party, and for the nation.

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. mndharmas

    If WV cannot tell who is going to be our nominee they need serious help in education about our country, this is not about their ego it is about the country

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Tim

    No it will not.

    Obama 08/12

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Marie in California

    I'm with Hillary.....and she WILL beat Obama with the popular vote, as much as the Democratic machine would like her to drop out before that becomes a reality that they'll then have to deal with....somehow.

    What will Democratic voters think when the candidate with the most votes, Hillary, is dumped for the one with more delegates (many "unwon"), especially since Obama has been preened, touted and aggressively pushed by the MSM and the Dem machine from Day One and loaded up with enough money to win a full scale war anywhere else in the world?

    Personally, I feel like they're trying to cram Obama down my throat....without my consent. Obama is a dud. If he gets the nomination, my vote will go to McCain.

    Obama says "Change we can believe in".....where is the substance?
    McCain says "Experience you can count on"..that IS substance!

    My only vote for Obama is one of..... NO CONFIDENCE.

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Seriously CNN????????

    Bill Schneider is your SENIOR political analyst and he is saying we should take Clinton seriously?

    REALLY?

    I thought the Clinton payroll has run dry......I guess not...

    After Hillary has lied about sniper fire, lied about the lady without healthcare, had Mark Penn as a "Colombian" campaign advisor", gone against the professional advice from economists, said she's not an elitist while lending herself over 6 million, has flip flopped several times on issues, and resorted to dirty politics.............

    CNN wants us to listen to what she says........well I think she's said enough BS for all of us Democrats.

    You know, you guys have catered to the Clintons as Fox News has to the Republicans.

    What happened????? Afraid of Change??

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Caras

    What a joke LOL!!!
    OBAMA 08

    PS HIllary just leave already!!!!!

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. fred

    she will still be in but alive no, she dont have a clue

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Ken in Oregon

    WV will not matter one bit in the Democratic nomination. Sen Clinton is favored to win big simply because the demographics are in her favor, i.e. low average income, undereducated, and predominately white in a state where race is a big issue similar to AK, OK, and TN.

    In the big picture, even if Clintons wins by 80%, it won't matter. This state along with the previously mentioned states will remain red no matter who the nominee is.

    May 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. Sean, Detroit MI

    Marshall,
    I with you on that! I'm voting democrat no matter if it's Obama, Clinton, or that Talking Tina doll from that one Twilight Zone episode. With only about 20% of the country thinking Bush is doing a great job as President, how can McCain get more than 20% of the vote in the fall? Who are these idiots that want to endure another 4 years of this republican regime?

    May 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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