Posted: May 13, 2008 7:24 PM
Clinton Projected to Win W.Va. as Democratic Race Nears End
Sen. Hillary Clinton racked up a resounding win in West Virginia’s Democratic primary as she tries to rebut calls for her to pull out of the race and let rival Sen. Barack Obama begin his general election campaign.
Clinton was expected to pull off a large-margin victory in the Mountain State, which is filled with voters that match the older, white, working-class demographic she has won in recent primary contests.
Obama barely campaigned in the state and delivered a concession speech on Monday but in a memo sent Tuesday afternoon, Clinton’s campaign argued that Obama tried harder than he let on in West Virginia.
“In the face of grim poll numbers, the Obama campaign has attempted to dismiss today’s outcome despite the fact that Sen. Obama has outspent us on advertising, has more staff in the state, and more than double the number of offices. He has also benefited from the support of the most high-profile endorsers in West Virginia-Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Congressman Nick Rahall. By every measure, the Obama campaign has waged an aggressive campaign in the Mountain State.”
A win in West Virginia, even if expected, proves “her greater ability to win in the key swing states” such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, the memo read.
Exit polls showed that more than half the voters were from families with incomes of $50,000 or less, one in four voters were older than 60 and about seven in 10 did not have a college degree, according to the Associated Press.
The economy again ranked as the top concern, with more than six in 10 voters saying it was most important issue facing the country.
West Virginia awards 28 delegates in the Democratic primary — 18 are determined at the congressional district level and 10 are awarded to the statewide winner.
At the start of the night, the current delegate count stood at 1,590 pledged and 281 super delegates for Obama and 1,426 pledged and 271 super delegates for Clinton, according to the Associated Press count used by the NewsHour.
Clinton will speak Tuesday night at a rally in Charleston. Obama spent the day campaigning in Missouri, an expected battleground state for the November general election.
The two square off next in Kentucky and Oregon on May 20, in Puerto Rico on June 1 and in the final contests of the Democratic primary season in Montana and South Dakota on June 3.