The West Virginia primary


Election 2008*Bumped to the top. This post will stay on the top of the page this evening, and will be updated often. Newest updates will appear at the top of the post.**

Update 8 – 10:19 PM: As it stands now, Hillary’s margin of victory is 37% (65%-28%). John Edwards’ name remained on the ballot even after he dropped out, and he’s gotten 7%. CNN’s had the Clinton campaign’s communications director Howard Wolfson on talking about how important they believe it is to fully count Florida and Michigan. There is also speculation that Obama could get enough superdels by the end of the month to win the nomination (2025) – this would be prior to the rules committee meeting in June to decide what to do about the FL and MI delegates, where the total delegate count necessary to win would likely change.

Hillary wins WV
Hillary speaks at her victory rally after winning in WV. Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Keane

Also, the Clarion-Ledger is predicting a Democrat upset in District 1 in Mississippi. Looks like it’ll be a narrow victory for Childers over Davis, but enough to have all the pundits and mediots spinning the win like crazy tomorrow about how this is a bad sign for the GOP’s chances in the fall.

G’nite, ya’ll.

Update 7 – 9:10 PM: The Southern-style Hillary speaks, says she is more determined than ever to carry on with this campaign until everyone has had the chance to have their voices heard.

Brings up FL and MI, says she and Senator Obama believe delegates should be seated. She’s stating party rules about the delegate numbers.

Comment from ST: She’s basically saying she isn’t going anywhere and that she believes she is the most qualified to be pres. She’s speaking truth to power to the superdels, says she can win the states Dems need to in the fall.

9:26 PM: Speaking of a female hospice resident in SD who cast an absentee ballot for her, starts to well up with tears.

Update 6 – 8:57 PM: Great point from Jim Geraghty on Hillary’s win tonight:

You’ll see the press, and Obama’s surrogates (perhaps I repeat myself) insist that tonight’s result means nothing, and indeed, in the delegate count, the effect is marginal. But superdelegates ought to be sweating. White working-class voters, and various overlapping demographics – the elderly, Catholics, Jews – just aren’t warming up to Obama, and they’ve been the backbone for the party for generations. Liberal bloggers (and Saturday Night Live, and arguably the Washington Post) are responding by suggesting Hillary’s supporters are racist; these people may not be so eager to vote for Obama in November as the pundits insist. Once you insult a voter by calling them racist, they may not be eager to meekly repent by doing as their moral betters in the pundit class demand.

Hillary Clinton is still the underdog, and she faces long odds to overcome Obama in the delegate and superdelegate fights. But the fact that anointed-nominee Obama couldn’t make any traction in any key demographic in West Virginia ought to keep the superdelegates awake at night. And she will be invigorated by this win; landslide victories tend to do that. The exhausted mainstream media bigfoots tried to end this story one chapter too early.

Jim points out that 95% of the vote in WV is white – something the mediots will focus on heavily in an attempt to paint West Virginians racist in the days to come.

Results from tonight’s primary are slow to come in. Only 5% reported so far.

Update 5 – 8:43 PM: Here’s a better page to watch for results on the MS-01 race.

Update 4 – 8:07 PM: Another hot race people are talking about is one in Mississippi’s 1st District. Marc Ambinder writes:

The most important election taking place today is not in West Virginia. It’s in Mississippi, for the first congressional district, a seat held since the Republican revolution of 1994 by Republican Roger Wicker. Wicker’s moving up to take Trent Lott’s seat, and there’s a good possibility that Democrat Travis Childers will win today’s run-off election. Republicans have tried to nationalize the race to some degree in order to paint Childers, who does well in the district’s rural areas, as a closet liberal. Also: the ballot is non-partisan, so party affiliations are not listed. The only way to make sure Republicans know that candidate Greg Davis is a Republican is to make sure they know that Childers is the Democrat. It’s also why Dick Cheney was in Mississippi on Monday campaigning for Davis. The district is one of the more geographically diverse in the state. It’s home to a college town (Oxford), rural and exurban communities, and the southern suburbs of Memphis (De Soto Co. and environs.)

A Dem pick-up here will be a portent of doom for Republicans in the fall. George W. Bush won this district by 25 points (66,000 votes) in 2004.

The Right of Mississippi blog notes how the Democrats pulled a last minute dirty trick on Davis by having a nasty ad published strongly implying that Davis supported the KKK:

[From the DCCC article]: Southaven Mayor Greg Davis said Thursday he would be willing to display the Jefferson Davis statue, which is in Downtown Memphis, near City Hall at the end of Northwest Drive.

Horn Lake Mayor Nat Baker also said he would take the statues of Davis and of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest “in a heartbeat, even if we’d have to find some privately owned land to put them on.”

Davis said he isn’t “pushing” for the statue of Davis, despite some news reports saying otherwise.

“All I said was we’d be willing to give the statue a home” Davis said. “That’s as far as my conversation with Gary Roper went.”

Davis said he hasn’t talked with any public official in Memphis about acquiring the statue.

He also said he doesn’t know what the exact process of obtaining the statue would be.

“I don’t even know if Memphis is even going to move it or not” Davis said. “We were asked if we could give it a home and we said ‘yes.’ We’re not going to pay for it.

So “wanted to honor” and “try to honor” is’nt just a stretch it is complete and total bullcrap. They are talking about the WRONG STATUE!!!! This is FEAR BASED, RACIALLY MOTIVATED AND FALSE.


Sound familiar?

High turnout has been reported.

You can follow the results of that race here (polls close at 8 PM ET).

Update 3 – 7:40 PM: The polls closed at 7:30 in WV. Most major nets have projected Hillary the winner.

Exits: “One-Third of Whites Citing Race in Vote Would Support Obama Over McCain

Update 2 – 6:21 PM: The WaPo reported today about a few disturbing incidents involving Obama campaign workers in Indiana who had to deal with racist remarks about their candidate as they canvassed the state trying to drum up support for him. While the remarks were despicable, Carol Platt Liebeau makes an important point that will likely be overlooked while the left and their mediot pals try to set the narrative for opposition to Obama:

There’s a lurking danger in these kinds of narratives, as well. When stories like these go into wide circulation, it’s a sure bet that some on the left are going to start asserting — not that America is a great country with (unfortunately) some racists (all of which is true) — but that America is a predominantly racist country with some great people (i.e., those who support Barack Obama). If Barack loses in the fall, the USA will officially be labeled a racist country by many of its left-wing citizens.

And what they’d leave out, of course, is the role their own side would play in defeating Obama and helping to make this country a “racist nation.”

More from Carol:

Back in the realm of reality, it’s the sad truth that there will probably be some people who won’t vote for Barack just because of his skin color. But there will be many, many more who oppose him because of his leftist policies and his radical associations. It’s important to distinguish between the two. And that’s not just because it’s wrong both to slander all GOP voters by calling them racists and to equate all opposition to Barack with racism per se. It’s also important for the sake of the candidate and the campaign itself that the distinction between policy opponents and invidious-motive opponents be grasped (as I noted here when Hillary Clinton supporters were crying “sexism!”).


Update 1 – 6:05PM: The polls will be open until 7:30 PM ET. Turnout is being reported as “steady.”

Team Hillary issued a memo today advancing the “she can win the key swing states that Obama supposedly can not and will not” argument.

The polls are open this morning in West Virginia, home to 28 pledged delegates and 11 superdelegates of which the Democrat candidates for the nomination for president would like to win the vast majority. Thanks in no small part to the state’s heavy working class white population, a group that has gone cold on Senator Obama the last several primaries elsewhere, Hillary Clinton is expected to win handily. WV Senate Majority Leader Harry Truman Chafin, a Hillary supporter, cheerfully and boldly predicted yesterday an “80-20” win which I’m sure Hillary would like to see but in reality likely won’t happen.

Kenneth Vogel at The Politico writes this morning about five things to watch for in today’s primary:

1.) How goes Mason County? In 1988 and 2000 – the last elections with no incumbent president on the ballot – the county of less than 30,000 residents on the Ohio border was within 5 percentage points of the actual statewide primary results.

That could be good news for Clinton, who had a commanding 65 to 16 percent lead in the county in the most recent poll of West Virginia voters, a Suffolk University survey taken this past weekend (May 10 – 11).

But 12 percent of respondents told pollsters they had no preference or were undecided. That’s equal to the statewide percentage and suggests the possibility of late-breaking votes, which have swung to both Obama and Clinton in their previous contests.


2.) The Edwards protest vote. John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who ended his Democratic presidential campaign in January, remains on the ballot in West Virginia. And he polled at 4 percent in the Suffolk poll, primarily from men and independents.

If Edwards gets that much of the vote or more, it could add to the night’s woes for Obama and presage problems for him in a general election match-up with McCain, particularly in rural states like West Virginia.


3) Turnout in the southern coal fields, the northern panhandle and the Ohio River counties. These areas, home to some of the most unionized, blue collar, and economically distressed populations in the state, are Clinton country.

The Clinton campaign acknowledges it needs a big win with high turnout to make the kind of statement it needs in West Virginia, and these areas will be key to turnout.


4.) Television coverage. The Clinton campaign blames the Obama-as-inevitable storyline partly on the saturation television coverage of last week’s huge Obama victory in North Carolina and unexpectedly narrow Clinton win in Indiana. Much of the analysis framed the night as a determinative moment in the campaign. Campaign aides were particularly peeved at Tim Russert’s declaration on MSNBC that “we now know who the Democratic nominee is going to be, and no one is going to dispute it” – even before the network called Indiana for Clinton.


5.) Fundraising bounce: Clinton’s campaign has been outspent in nearly every state by Obama’s fundraising juggernaut and the Clinton campaign acknowledged over the weekend it is $20 million in debt.

Clinton, who loaned her campaign more than $11 million from her and her husband’s assets, boasted that her supporters deluged her website with small contributions totaling $10 million in the 24 hours after her April 22 victory in Pennsylvania – a record one-day haul.

Clinton told several hundred supporters gathered Sunday at a middle school gym in Eleanor, W. Va., that “the eyes of the country and the world will be on West Virginia Tuesday” because “there is no other state that everybody is going to be waiting to see.”

Also watch for the female vote in WV – signs are pointing to it being huge for Hillary, perhaps even more so than normal.

Barack Obama may want to be wrapping this thing up in the next week, but a majority of Democrats nationally are saying “let this thing continue.” The Daily Telegraph reports today that Hillary recently referred to the next president as a “he,” which is fueling speculation that she’s ready to drop out.

Not likely.

You can watch the results of today’s primary at they come in by bookmarking this link and refreshing often.