Senator Hillary Clinton claimed victory in the Democratic Party’s West Virginia presidential primary at a televised rally following the close of polls.
“I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had a chance... to be heard,” Hillary said on Tuesday, pumping her supporters for more money to keep her campaign alive.
With 68 per cent of polling stations reporting, the former first lady had 66 per cent of the vote compared to 27 per cent for rival Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
Hillary’s pre-victory speech was upbeat and conciliatory, and she commended Obama. “I believe that this campaign has been good for the Democratic Party and good for our country,” Hillary said. “People are discussing and debating issues. They are turning out in record numbers to register and to vote. There is an excitement about politics that is the lifeblood of our democracy.”
Major television networks had predicted a victory for Hillary immediately after voting stations closed on Tuesday evening.
Hillary closely trails Obama in delegates won for the Democratic presidential nominating convention in August. Despite the narrow margin, her campaign has been declared all but hopeless by most of the national media, with only a handful of small states yet to vote in the intra-party contest.
Hillary argued on Tuesday night that contested primary states, Florida and Michigan, should see their votes counted. The states voted in January, too early under national party rules, leading to the loss of their convention delegates.
“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,” Hillary reminded primary voters.