Clinton Way Ahead in W. Va., and That Raises Questions About November

Posted May 12, 2008 at 11:10am

That Hillary Clinton is *waaaay* ahead in West Virginia, which votes tomorrow, is not news; but the news might be that there are signs this is a state where Barack Obama could have problems in the general election (although with only 5 electoral votes, that may not cause too much sleep to be lost). A Suffolk University poll, conducted May 10-11, says Clinton leads Obama 60 percent to 24 percent with 8 percent undecided and John Edwards, who is still on the ballot, at 4 percent. Two-thirds of West Virginia Democrats said she should stay in the race and 72 percent said she’s not hurting the party by doing so.

West Virginia’s tourist slogan – “wild and wonderful” – might also apply to its voters extraordinary faith that Clinton will be the next president. Thirty-one percent said Clinton, 27 percent said Obama and 26 percent said McCain. Only 40 percent said they would still vote for the Democratic candidate in the general election if their first choice for the nomination lost.

David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said, “Barack Obama may have to write off West Virginia come November…If (he) can’t even garner thirty percent of West Virginia Democratic Primary voters, what does that say about the West Virginia general election?”

On this point, check out a CQ Politics video with a West Virginia political analyst.