HILLARY CLINTON scored a crushing win over Barack Obama in West Virginia’s primary yesterday, but it did little to dislodge his stranglehold on the Democratic White House race.
Clinton vowed to fight on after routing Obama by a margin of almost three to one in a contest that highlighted his struggle to win white, working class voters who will play a key role in November’s general election. “You will never quit and I won’t either,” Clinton told cheering supporters at her victory rally late on Tuesday in the mountainous state.
“There are some who have wanted to cut this race short,” said the former first lady. “I am more determined than ever to carry on with this campaign until everyone has had their chance to make their voices heard,” she said, in an apparent hint that she will fight on through five remaining primaries.
Clinton beat Obama by a bruising 67%-26% in West Virginia. 7% voted for former senator John Edwards, who dropped out of the presidential race in late January. Overall, Obama, vying to become the first African-American in the White House, leads Clinton by every metric — pledged delegates, superdelegates, popular vote tallies and number of nominating contests won.
Bringing only 28 of the 2,025 delegates needed for the nomination, the West Virginia victory was not enough to change the maths that seems destined to propel Obama to the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton was conciliatory towards her rival. “I deeply admire Senator Obama,” she said, and added she would support the nominee of her party in November. But she also bluntly stated her belief that she was the best to lead the Democrats against Republican John McCain in the November presidential election.
Meanwhile, Obama had already conceded the primary and was in the general-election battleground of Missouri as the results came in, gearing up for a contest with McCain. “While the Bush-Cheney ticket won’t be up for re-election, the Bush-Cheney policies will, because John McCain is running for four more years of the same approach that has failed the American people,” said Obama in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Clinton, meanwhile, fired off a fundraising appeal after the polls closed, underscoring her desperate need for cash to continue her campaign.
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