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Clinton wins West Virginia primary

world Updated: May 14, 2008 11:31 IST

PTI
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Hillary Clinton emphatically routed her rival Barack Obama in West Virginia and asserted that the race for the White House is anything but over.

The victorious Clinton reminded her supporters and the party leadership that she is not giving up the challenge to the Party nomination and that she does not subscribe to the notion that the voters of Michigan and Florida--who have been disqualified--can be left out.

"You've heard this before. There are many who wanted to declare a nominee before the ballots were counted or even cast. Some said our campaign was over after Iowa, but then we won New Hampshire. Then we had big victories on Super Tuesday, and in Ohio, and Texas, and Pennsylvania. And, of course, we came from behind to win in Indiana.

"So this race isn't over yet. Neither of us has the total delegates it takes to win. And both Obama and I believe that the delegates from Florida and Michigan should be seated," Clinton told her backers in her victory speech in Charleston, West Virginia.

Last night Clinton had said that she is in the race because she believes herself to be the strongest candidate to lead the party in November 2008 and the strongest president to lead the nation starting January 2009.

Clinton got 72 per cent of the white blue collar vote as opposed to only 23 per cent for Obama; 60 per cent of the men voters in the democratic primary backed Clinton.

Even in the category of white voters with college degrees went with Clinton by a 55 per cent to 41 per cent margin.
"We've won them in states that we must be prepared and ready to win in November: Pennsylvania and Ohio, Arkansas and New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, and now West Virginia," Clinton said.

The Mountain State, the Clinton campaign reminded its voters, is used to picking winners. Every nominee has carried the state's primary since 1976, and no Democrat has won the White House without winning West Virginia since 1916. Democrats carried West Virginia in 1992 and 1996, but lost the stateand the White House-- in 2000 and 2004.

"It is a fact that no Democrat has won the White House since 1916 without winning West Virginia. The bottom line is this: The White House is won in the swing states, and I am winning the swing states," the former first lady said.

The final tally is yet to be in but Clinton is looking at a thirty point lead over Obama cornering every aspect of the State's vote where the population is 90 per cent white and predominantly blue collar.

Exit polls are showing that Obama has some serious problems in a state like West Virginia at the time of the Presidential election should he turn out to be the Democratic party nominee.

"Clinton has already won Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan. With a win in West Virginia, she will have once again proven her greater ability to win in the key swing states," the Hillary campaign said in a statement.

"When we finish this process we will be very close in the delegates, we'll be ahead in the popular vote. Then the argument's got to be who is best to take on John McCain. Today, Hillary wins Florida, Missouri, Ohio. A poll out in Kentucky today, she beats John McCain in Kentucky. We got to win November 4th. Hillary Clinton, with her coalition of seniors, women, blue collar, wins those states we've got to win in the general election," former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and top Clinton supporter Terry McAuliffe said.