HILLARY CLINTON appeared set for an easy West Virginia victory over front-runner Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential race last night, although it could be too late to turn around her faltering White House bid.
Clinton had an advantage of at least 20 points in most opinion polls in West Virginia, a bastion of the white working-class voters who have become her strongest supporters in the gruelling battle for the Democratic nomination. But Obama retains a nearly insurmountable advantage in delegates who will select the nominee at the party convention in August.
A big win in West Virginia for the cash-strapped Clinton would make barely a dent in Obama’s advantage. However, one of her top aides said a win for the former first lady could raise doubts about Obama’s ability to win important swing states in the November election against Republican John McCain. “I think Democrats across the country will be asking themselves why Senator Obama, with all of his money, with all of the great press, with voters being told that he is the inevitable nominee, why did Senator Obama lose West Virginia by 15 points or so?” said Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson. West Virginia has just 28 delegates at stake, but Clinton has vowed to keep fighting despite her dwindling prospects and a mounting campaign debt. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t believe that I could be the best president for West Virginia and America, and that I was the stronger candidate to take on John McCain,” she said at a rally in Logan, West Virginia.
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