[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/05/13/wv.primary/art.clinton.senate.gi.jpg 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.