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. Paul

    Hillary 08

    She is the best Democratic candidate at this time and we know it.

    Obama will not be competitive against McCain's experience and patriotism in the general election.

    Hillary must be our nominee, otherwise we might just vote republican

    May 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Obama v McCain

    i wish the media would stop feeding the frenzy.. this has been over for months and they are keping it alive for rating purposes.

    May 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Frank, Missouri

    She will win there ... will we pretend to be surprised ?

    It's over and there is nothing more to it.

    May 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Barack the Vote in RI

    Here we go......

    Glenn Close is at it again.

    May 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Chuckling in California

    I see by the photo that many of the states in which Hillary has run her campaign have turned the campaign debts her crew has run into the millions over to a collections agency. You can't hear her, but she's saying, "Oh.. I thought I mailed that check. I'm sorry. Can I break the payment into monthly payments? Y'see, my husband isn't working right now, and I just had to spend a lot of money on ...."

    May 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Sandy

    Folks who are Hillary supporters are NOT rascist, or nuts, or any of the other simplistic, insulting terms BO-zoids throw around. We simply know 2 things: the meaning of substance, and that BO doesn't have much of it.

    BO for Head Cheerleader!

    Hillary for President!

    May 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. fred

    Phillip Bunn , Bailey NC, were you offended when 92% of blacks vote for Obama???? LMAO

    Talk about racist!!

    May 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Nikole

    LOI-Sen. Obama had nothing to do with the mess made of FL and MI. Please stop spreading such a lie. Obama took issue with the way revotes were going to be held and the stipulations that were going to bemade on who would be allowed to participate in the revote.

    May 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. NC voter

    Jeez! What hateful rhetoric these Obama supporters use against Clinton. That clearly shows that their candidate is a great healer who will rally the party together, now, doesn't it?

    May 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Liz T

    What makes WV so different? Old people? White people? Fortunately, that is not the national demographic. CNN does not write about all the racist behavior encountered by Obama field volunteers. You will have to go to MSNBC to read that. CNN is all about keeping Hillary rolling along. Getting a little nauseating, frankly.

    Maybe I will do as I did after GWB ws first elected: tune out to avoid having to hold my nose. By early June this should all be over and done with, and then I can come back to the Ticker and not have to throw up in my mouth at the slanted articles posted here. I thought Bill Schneider was better than this.

    May 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Tanya- Louisville, Kentucky

    As a black woman I cannot believe that hillary is focusing on just one demographic to win. Obama has never put all his focus on one set group and not try to unify us ALL kinds of people.
    PLEASE LET US UNIFY TO GET A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE. From the bottom of my heart I hope that whomever the nominee is becomes our next president. Be owe it to our children. I used to be really fond of hillary but everyone believes she has had this 'entitlement crown' on her head the entire time. She is a great candidate but I am an Obama supporter

    Obama for President.
    Thank you.

    May 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Its a little late for this now.......isn't it??? What you see here is the under tow that we saw in Ohio and Penn. The difference is that this state has many times MORE of the voters that Clinton drew in Pa and Ohio. While having many times fewer types of the voters that Obama attracts. No suprises . No reason for Obama to actively campaign and lose....that's what Senator Clinton was hoping he would do.......and............that is EXACTLY what OBama hasn't done. He will not play to her strenghts to expose his preceived weaknesses. This campaign is done. Let's close the final chapter. Please stop pushing for conflict. We are trying to start the healing process.

    May 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Mark Anthony

    How does this keep her alive? Obama leads in Superdelegates by 9 now, so far she hasn't picked one up today.

    The American people have spoken and they choose Obama. W. Virgina is not the United States.

    May 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Collin

    Hillary knows how to talk to lowly educated white racist, something Obama can't do, that is the point Mr. Schneider. Lets speak plainly and stop the intellectual acrobatics to explain the obvious.

    May 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |

    You BO supporters are very rude and mean-spirited....would he want you to be spewing the way you do? Is this what his campaign is all about? I think at one time, I could have stomached voting for him....but you guys just make me sick. If not Hillary, McCain for my family and least his supporters have some decency.....

    May 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. White and Old Minnesota for Barack

    Bush democrats are idiots by definition. We do not want idiots to be a part of decision making process. Let them vote Clinton.

    Election reform should include some sort of IQ test before being allowed to vote so that no other Bush is ever elected as president again!

    May 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. ER

    Earlier, Robert Malley – an unpaid Middle East policy adviser to the Obama campaign – resigned after hearing the Times of London was planning to report on his meetings with Hamas in his role as head of the International Crisis Group. Obama himself has said that he would not meet with the Palestinian group.Its nice to see that the american media did not catch this.The DNC is doomed.

    May 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. jim

    how many people think the media(cnn) wants hillary to go on? declare her dead and behold...she is arisen from the coal mines of west virginia and kentucky!

    it's amazing how little credit the pundits and the media give us.

    May 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. R.I.F.

    Democrat but Still Thinking May 13th, 2008 4:25 pm ET

    I'm tired of Hillary mocking non-whites by saying that they are not hard working. And I quote directly from Hillary "...hard working americans, white Americans" I guess non-whites don't work hard.

    Your quote from Obama is total trash. "When she's feeling down" I thingk that he in part was referencing the 32 losses that she occured during the primary so far. Not what you are talking about. Please stop blogging until you do some research.

    May 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. John

    If Obama becomes President, is he going to invite Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers to the White House? Gives me a very good reason to never vote for him! Will he invite Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? Gives me a very good reason to never vote for him! Will his wife finally be proud of this country? Gives me a very good reason to never vote for him! Will he still think the people he is representing as President are bitter? Gives me a very good reason to never vote for him!

    May 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Obama v McCain

    ok. I will stand with you Marshall.

    May 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Barack the Vote in RI

    ....all this hype and she's STILL losing.

    and STILL $20M in debt.

    Enough, Hillary, enough!

    May 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Bye-bye Hillary

    Loi – First of all - when everyone thought Hilliary was going to win the nod– Florida and MI's votes didn't matter to Mrs Clinton. Obama wasn't on the ballot - she knew this and campaigned in those states ANYWAY. So now that she's loosing she wants to votes to count. She knew the rules set fourth by the party and AGREE to them - no one forced her and it isn't Obama's fault. Florida and MI will get their voices heard in November.

    I'm all for a re-vote w/ Obama on the ballot if that will satisfy the situation!

    What Hillary is doing is RIPPING our party apart. She knows this and she doesn't care. How can you vote for a woman like that - that's not strength - that's a HUGE weakness.

    Hilliary SUPPORTERS - how can you call yourselves Democrats! You guys (not all of you - but most of you YES) are acting like a bunch of freaken babies! Grown up - don't let this country fall into the hands of the Republicans!

    Now is the time to get behind our candidate and change our country - save our boys & girls overseas, make our dollar strong again, save our homes, our environment and be the super powerful nation we once were. We cannot do this w/ McCain in office - who doesn't give a crap about your foreclosed homes and whose trying to buy your vote for $30.

    So get over yourselves and suck it up. Writing in "Hillary" when she's not on the ticket in November will only insure that things remain the same. Just vote for whoever the Democrat candidate is - and face the facts that it will not be Hillary!

    May 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. M Philllips

    It's all in the spin isn't it. Where else would a candidate in debt for $20,000,000 , who went through three senior campaign staff and has lost her significant lead overall even be considered as electable.What is the message form West Virginia ,exactly?

    May 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. War Survivor

    IT"S OVER. The Fat Lady has Sang and sanked. Lets find a common way to fight McCain. And those who would support Mc Cain cause of Hillary, I hope you all end up in Iraq, enjoy the weather. As a Vet. my Vote will help my fellow soldiors come home and that's all i care. You don't like it, you go and fight with those crazy Jihadist.

    May 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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