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. Iam U.

    I am white and I noticed that Obama does not get the media attention that he needs as a runner and as the winnning candidate so far, It seems to be that even though he is winning it feels like he is loosing, that is what i meant.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Linda Esen

    NO ! But ok – CNN we know u just want to give her one last who- RA...thats ok because coem June 3..she will have to go !!!!!!

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Paris

    It is clear that the establishment is against Hillary.
    Hillary shouldn’t stop, people are voting for her and that is the only thing that counts.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    RACE IS OVER.

    Remember when Obama won 10 in a row, it was over then. The media needs to sell us something, keep the news alive so we click and watch and they get ad dollars.

    Next it skips to McCain vs Obama or about what Clinton is doing after the race. Anything to keep us watching when really this was over long ago.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Debbie,NJ

    Older, rural and blue-collar Democrats are all over the country. Obama has won 30 of the 50 contests so far, including 5 of 12 primaries where blacks made up less than 10% of the voters. He also won in caucus states that are overwhelmingly white – places like Iowa, Idaho and Wyoming. WV alone didn't put Bush in office twice and without WV Obama is leading in delegates, states won and popular votes. I'm not saying that we don't want WV. They need relief from the Bush administration more than anybody else. My husband (now deceased disabled vet) was from WV. These are very proud and very patriotic people. I'm sure they are tired of the Bush economics and would welcome a relief, whether it be thru Obama or Hillary. They have a choice, a white woman vs a black man. Older people go with what they know. I agree Obama needs to court them and he will in the GE. Right now I guess he feels as long as they have Hillary its a loss for him.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Sol

    To Bill Schneider,

    How about all the majority white states that Obama won? I suspect you have nothing better to do than prolong Hillary eventual loss for you own self promotion as "jornalist" . As an AA myself I know for a fact that WV does not represent white America- it represent the hate promoters like youself and Lou Dobbs, but not the America of today. Get a grip of yourself. Your game will fail.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Aces full of Kings

    Clinton supporters are one of two things right now. They're either Republican or racist. They ran an interesting story on MSNBC how our "glorious" states Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia are blatantly racist against people of color. You don't think so, then back Barack! We're going to keep fighting you racists hard until you see the truth.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Mike

    Bridget, I believe Gore lost by one electoral vote back in 2000. So, yes, all electoral votes will matter. Shows how much Obama freaks understand the process.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. jojo

    shut up Obama!

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Wayne

    CNN is trying to inflate the importance of West Virginia. The race has been over for months now. Race after race Obama remains t he leader in every metric. That wont change in WV.

    CNN thinks psychology..and not actual votes should be the metric to nominate Clinton. Give me a break. Its the biggest fairytale Ive ever heard.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Mark in Austin, TX

    Three cheers for Marshall!!! As for CNN, the interest in the continued "battle" for the Democratic party's nominee is just good ratings. Of course they are going to hype every primary as "crucial." And yes, they will have totally forgotten everything they said for the week following North Carolina and Indiana because they want the good ratings all the way up to June 3.

    I am sickened by the "I'll vote for McCain if my choice isn't the nominee" folks out there. They're the type of folks that gave our country 4 more years of G.W. Bush in 2004. WAKE UP PEOPLE!! It's way too important this year for the Democrats to not get their act together and unite behind the nominee, because whoever it is will be a whole lot better than McCain.

    May 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. robert

    Democrat but Still Thinking,

    If you wish to not vote for Obama, that is absolutely fine.
    But dont make it seem like Obama disrespected the women or something and that is why you are not voting for him. You probably would never have voted for him. Period!!

    May 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. True Independent, MD

    It is these so called Sen Clinton's "it's a woman's turn, or else" aggressive and manipulative supporters that turn me off.

    The people of WVa voted for Bush. They are also against everything but coal for energy.

    The USA needs to move forward. Thank you very much.

    May 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Incredible

    How can all of you at CNN (with Cafferty leadin the way......will you post my comment?) sleep at night? You have done nothing but push OBAMA down our throats and bying his message of "unitor" as if his life had been and example of unity and achievement. What has he done to bring about CHANGE? NOTHING.
    I agree 100% with the "wake up America "post above, read it carefully. Now we have to add that one of Obama's closest advisors resigned last week because he has been talking to Hamas......why have you not reported this story? you have not covered it all. Shame on you.
    SO if WV keeps Hillary alive, so be it. She has run against the media, and against every possible obstacle YOU guys and the Obama camp has thrown at her. People are so ludicrous saying she has run a dirty campaign. WHat dirt? Not a single ad referring to Wright or Ayers. You the media and the ultra liberals have held her hostage and not allow her to say anything that would not cause all you ingrates to call her racist and so on. This primary would be a fiasco if Obama wins.
    He will certainly loose the general.

    May 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. HILLARY SUPPORTER

    robert....
    "You're likeable enough, Hillary...." REMEMBER THAT?????? As A woman, YES THAT WAS OFFENSIVE! Plus soooooo many more after that....go back and check out the way he looked down on her in EVERY debate!

    May 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. gerald strother

    She is Hillary is trying very hard to destroy the democratic party she know she cannot win she has no shame .She know that in OR SHE WILL GET BET BY 12 TO 15% AND IN SD 10% MT THE SAME SHE IS TRY TO DESTROY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IT IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. HILLARY SUPPORTER

    robert....
    "You're likeable enough, Hillary...." REMEMBER THAT?????? As A woman, YES THAT WAS OFFENSIVE! Plus soooooo many more after that....go back and check out the way he looked down on her in EVERY debate!

    I think it is absolutely funny that several weeks ago, ALL BO supporters INCLUDING ALL Pundits and CNN folks were saying "HILLARY WILL NEED OBAMA, BUT HE WILL NOT NEED HER..." FUNNY how times change!.....She could win EASILY without him.....looks like he DOES NEED her! TOO funny!!!!!!
    Loved his comment, too...remember this one (my all-time favorite)....."I'm sure I can get her voters, I'm not so sure she can get mine...." What an ego.....yet another thing he said that I thought was absolutely rediculous when I heard it!!!!!
    GO HILLARY!!!!!!! 🙂

    May 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Pam

    CNN...give it a rest. West Virginia is NOT a turning point, no matter how much you want it to be.

    May 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Jason

    Because they vote for Hillary they are RACIST. Screw it I can't support a nominee who is backed by racism and hate while he preaches unity and hope. The hypocracy has finally killed his candidacy to me.
    go Mcain

    May 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Robb

    No. She will have to do a lot more to get back in the race.

    Point in fact, Obama now has a double digit lead in combined delagates. According to Hillary, a double digit lead is huge.

    May 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. George

    Marshall, stop the pandering. you'll never get me to vote for Obama. you people have been so outragious and the lies you posted on all websites are unbelievable. Obama has no chance in winning in November and I look forward to seeing his wife frown and go back to never being proud of America.

    May 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Gary

    Lets get this straight. The news media keeps acting as if Clinton still has a strong chance to claim the lead. Wrong. Statistically, if Obama and Clinton were 50/50 on the superdelegate allotment (note:Obama is ahead by a couple superdelegates), Hillary STILL needs to win 80+% of the votes from ALL remaining states. 80%. Lets chew on that one for a minute. What are the chances of that? Zero. Her run for office has been over for a long time and the nail was driven into the coffin after the last round with South Carolina. A win at any less than 80% of the votes in West Virginia means absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada.

    May 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. yall

    there is no need, bye bye.

    May 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. MaryH

    Hillary hasn't stopped flapping that mouth since she got started. If only folks could just see through the talk. She is out for the power and will use anyone and anything to get there. Hillary is not interested in average Americans. She grew up rich .She doesn't even know what an average American is and she'll forget them once she thinks she got what she wants. Hopefully we don't have to look at her too much longer.

    May 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. PCL

    BILL SCHNEIDER,

    ARE YOU PURPOSELY TRYING TO ENCOURAGE THIS RESULT BY ACTING LIKE 28 DELEGATES IN THE OVERALL SCHEME OF THINGS IS ACTUALLY A "WEAKNESS".

    YOU KNOW THAT THESE PEOPLE WOULD NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA ANYWAY. EXACTLY HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU THINK (in the country) HOLD THOSE VALUES? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY ABOUT AMERICA? I KNOW THAT THERE ARE MORE OF "US" THAN OF "THEM".

    IF OBAMA GETS 30% OR MORE OF THE VOTE IN THIS ALL WHITE STATE, HE WILL BE FOLLOWING HIS PATTERN FOR SECURING WHITE VOTERS IN HIS CLOSEST CONTESTS. THERE IS NO REAL CHANGE.

    HE'S GOT A NEW PLAN, BILL. OPEN YOUR EYES. COME OUT OF THE WAY THINGS USED TO BE DONE. AND STOP STIRRING THE POT.

    May 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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