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. MD

    Hillary, Like cat socks, has nine lives. It is her money that is keeping her in the race. Knowing that someone will pay her debt in the end, she is having a good ol' time.

    Superdelegates have a duty to put an end to Hillary's choke-hold on the American people.

    May 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. manny t

    Obama u got it these clinton will jump on board the obama train by the end of next week the superdelegates already jumped onboard he now leads by 10, hillary is soon to endorce Obama so is bill, Now please just respect the next president of the united states since we need him. its him or we're a third world country i would bet on hat too. President Obama, were all proud of u and the fight ur putting up. All true americans are with u Mr. President.

    May 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Raoul

    The political map will be redrawn in this election and Dems will move forward with or without the Clinton "base".

    The times they are a changin'.

    May 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Bobby tray

    This is exactly what I thought would happen. You media outlets crack me up! Last week, the big story was Obama being a shue in and this week something totally different. The Clintons and the media have so much in common. Let's make news even if it is not a factor. Once again, if the media wanted to honest and fair they would have said months ago, mathematically Clinton could not win. But, that would be too boring . . But, it would be the truth for once!

    May 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. White Independent

    There is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common – that whether we are rich or poor; black or white; Latino or Asian; whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That is what’s happening in America right now. Change is what’s happening in America. You can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness – Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington; who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable; who understand that if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence that’s stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there’s no problem we can’t solve – no destiny we cannot fulfill. WE – are the ones WE'VE – been waiting for.

    May 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Common Sense

    Clinton is finished. She's looking pretty bad right now and it doesn't matter what happens in west virginia.

    May 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. AJ

    Fred get a life!!!! Your in every blog posting the same copy and paste message about voting for Mccain if not Hillary. Everybody knows the people who post comments like "If not hillart than maccain" are rush limbaugh psycho republicans….So please go vote for ur mccain you republican and let us democarats get our country back!!

    This is from a Hillary supporter who will also vote for Obama cause i am first a democrat and second have a brain!!

    May 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Willis, Texas

    A Hillary win in WV will not show she is a winner, but demonstrates her lack of judgment. She does not have enough vision to know when the contest is over!!!

    If she can't reconigze something as simple as this - she does not need to be president because she has already been talking crazy about Iran and Russia. Bottom line: She likes judgment and would be another George Bush.

    May 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Jodie, Idaho

    It will just show us who these "hard working americans" are who only support her. I am proud to be a white, hard working American who is saying goodbye to the divisions Senator Clinton is trying to create between blacks and whites. It is a fact that one cannot be a hard working american based on their color. It is based upon the person's own performance not by the color of their skn. Just because W. Virginia votes overwhelmingly for her just means there are a lot more racist people living in that state than I thought. Shame on all of you who vote because of color. You are a disgrace to this country.

    May 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Nikole

    DEMOCRAT BUT STILL THINKING-I am more offended as a woman by the idea of other women voting for John McCain, knowing that he will set the Supreme Court up to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

    May 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Caroll

    Hillary is not out of the race ... she is still a viable candidate for the nomination.... the mainstream "cnn" type news is afraid that Obama will have to fight a little harder than he is really able to....they would like to see Hillary throw the towel in so that Obama won't have to work so hard...also, they are afraid that Hillary really will win this race, so better to get her out before she does. Sorry. Hillary is in to win.

    And, win she will. We need Hillary at the helm. Hillary will beat John McCain. Just wait and see.

    May 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Venus

    Well – Carville said today that it looks like it's over for Hillary!

    Go Obama!

    Every thing Hillary wins today will disappear with OR, MT, and SD!

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Edl, NYC

    Democrat but Still Thinking-

    You do realize that our next president could be appointing several supreme court justices in his/her term. Do you really want McCain to be that person? Appointing conservative judges that could very well overturn a women's right to choose. Doesn't say much for your support of women's rights.

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Lee WV

    These numbers have been out for some time.I don't see where it can change anything.We will see the numbers to see how wrong the pols wewe.

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Debbie

    I respect the fact that Mrs. Clinton has had accomplishments in her life and has made history by being the first woman to run for president. To the answer the question, Hillary is now all about Hillary and just can't fathom she is not the winner. She would take a 1% lead as a so called boost to her cry that she is the best, the most electable, etc. etc. blah blah blah. Many of her supporters are bashing Obama and stating they will not vote for him. They are as stubborn as she is and if they would like to shot themselves in the foot, go ahead. Do they not realize the true fsimilarity 's fundamentally in thier stances on issues. Mr. McCain will keep the war going, keep helping the rich and most of all have the ability to appoint a judge on the supreme court which will threaten Roe vs. Wade. False pride and entitlement is for fools.

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Ralph

    I know all these clinton haters are Republicans, However, i don't care, i will vote for Mccain if Hillary is forced out by MSNBC, and all the old white sexist men in washington.

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. scdemocrat

    To democrat but still thinking. You do know that periodically means every now and again don't you? Obama has NEVER said anything negative about women and I would love for one of you alleged Clinton supporters to show me where he has. Stop with this double speak of how tough she is when you think it will help, and then play the stop picking on the GIRL card when it suits you again. This woman has made a mockery of herself and the process. SHE IS 20 MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT, HOW WILL SHE MANAGE OUR BUDGET? If you care so much about helping the little guy out, tell her to pay the bills she owes to all the small businesses who have supplied her with services. As far as voting for McCain if, sorry WHEN Clinton loses you do understand McCain WILL appoint Supreme court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade don't you? How will that help the "girls" out?

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Beverly

    If Obama wins the Democratic nominee, he won't have a chance unless he does choose Hillary for the VP because Hillary's voters will go for MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Hillary is dead in the water.... how can WV keep her alive? I'm sick to death of this megalomaniac and her lust for power.

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Bridget

    Democrat But Still Thinking - you are obviously not thinking when you tell people to vote Republican to teach Democrats a lesson. Those consequences will be felt by everyone, including our brothers and sisters in Iraq. THINK.

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. M Philllips

    How lucky Hillary is to have you on her campaign team,Bill. All this free publicity. She is in debt $20,000,000, has gone through 3 senior campaign advisers and has lost her giant early lead among delegates and super delegates. What is the message from West Virginia, exactly?

    May 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. How does this send a message?

    Hillary supporters are already being surveyed and they would like to see her as the V.P. can we just move on? CNN stop with the headlines that "W. Virgina will send a clear message to the American public" because the American public has choose who they want to be President, and it's B. Obama.

    May 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. What's real

    I've heard many say that 95% of African Americans voting fro Obama is racist.
    what about when those same African Americans were voting for Bill Clinton? what about that?

    And really Hillary cannot run ans an independent due to the fact that she was in the Dem primary.

    Lets think about this for real, Mrs. clinton does not win the nomination, you know she's gonna get a job close to the presidency. She is a GREAT politician and knows the game well. ANY ONE wold be wise to have her around.

    that being said we should all get behind the Dem nominee no mater who it is for the sake of AMERICAS FUTURE!!!!

    May 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. sharrell, dc

    SCHNEIDER: Shame on you for writing this article. You should know better.

    May 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. J.S.

    Many of Hillary’s supporters have proudly proclaimed that they would vote for John McCain when Obama wins the nomination.

    I wonder if they would feel so high and mighty if they ran the risk of driving over a road-side bomb on the way their botox appointment in their soccermom mobile – or in their confederate flag bearin' pickup truck on the way to the lodge.

    May 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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