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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

W. Virginia Democratic Primary Results - Live Blogging

For an ongoing update on West Virginia Exit Polls click here often.

Both Obama and Clinton were in Washington today as the Senate voted on several bills. One was a 97-1 vote to stop filling the strategic petroleum reserves, a move that had been opposed by President Bush.

It was reported they said hello to each other and spoke briefly on the floor of the Senate. I'm sure they were talking about how nice the weather was today.

Stories continue about how great a Obama-Clinton Dem ticket would be. A new Gallup poll of democrats and independents leaning democrats said 55% would like to see Clinton as the V.P. Of course that figure was enhanced by Hillary supporters - 75% who said Obama should pick her. Only 43% of Obama supporters wanted Clinton to be on the ticket in November.

An interesting rumor for a V.P. is Chuck Hagel, a republican Senator from Nebraska. He has long opposed the war in Iraq. The other two potential running mates for Obama who are subject of hot rumors are Governors Sebelius - Kansas, and Strickland - Ohio. Governor Sebelius as a woman, would help in the appeal to women voters and Governor Strickland would help deliver Ohio to the democrats in November, a state that cost Kerry the election in 2004.

If Clinton wins by as big a margin as polls were indicating, the contest will be called soon after the polls close at 7:30 PM ET. One question remaining is what will she say at her victory speech. Even with an impressive 65-70% win she will only pick up at the most 10 delegates.and remain 164 delegates behind Obama. The Obama campaign has let it be known that he will not be speaking tonight.

Next Tuesday, Clinton is favored to win Kentucky (51 delegates) big and Obama is favored to win Oregon (52 delegates) so these 103 delegates will most likely be split.

Does Clinton exit tonight after a big win or does she stay in through Puerto Rico (55) on June 1st and S. Dakota (15) and Montana (16) on June 3rd? Her funds are tight and the pressure for her to exit is mounting so when and how will she choose to do so?

7:18 PM One of the exit polls from the link above shows the number one issue continues to be the economy - 64% with Iraq number 2 at 19% and health care number 3 at 14%. Terry McAuliffe who was just on MSNBC seemed to indicate that if Clinton would drop out she would certainly want Obama to embrace her health care plan over what he is proposing. This is interesting for it is the beginning of public signaling of nuances on the issues and what it will take for a full fledged offer of support from Clinton.

When asked if the recession has affected you? 45% said a great deal, 43% said somewhat. That is a total of 88% who are saying the recession has had an impact on them.

7:30 PM ET as expected as the polls closed, MSNBC has projected Senator Clinton as the winner by a 2-1 margin which would project to a gain of 10 delegates as I indicated earlier. Clinton is expected to give her victory speech around 8:00 PM ET.

Some more exit polling from W.V. voters. Earn less than 50K - Clinton 72%, Obama 24%, white women - Clinton 74% Obama 24%, white men - Clinton 63%, Obama 33%.

The Obama campaign will counter today's loss with the fact that they picked up more superdelegates in the past week than Clinton gained in delegates today. He is now within 140 delegates of securing the party nomination. They will point out that Clinton remains 318 delegates away from the 2025 needed with only 189 pledged and 240 uncommitted superdelegates remaining.

8:29 PM ET 1% reporting Clinton 56%, Obama 36%. Reportedly, Obama has called Clinton to congratulate her and she is expected to speak any minute now.

9:00 PM ET 9% reporting Clinton 60%, Obama 34% Clinton now expected to speak in 5 minutes. Michelle Bernard reported earlier tonight on MSNBC that the Obama campaign will be reporting huge fundraising numbers for April tomorrow that will drawf the big win by Clinton today, especially due to the money problems the Clinton campaign has with 20-25 million in debt.

9:07 PM ET Clinton begins her speech - she intends to continue, she needs their support. She stated that she and Obama believed Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated, neither one of the candidates had reached the number of delegates needed to win the nomination - with Fla. and Mich. included, the number of delegates needed to secure the party nomination is 2209. She believes she is the strongest candidate and that she can win in November. Since 1916, no democrat has won the presidency without winning W.V. I am a fighter, I will keep coming back working for you. I ask you to choose the strongest candidate in the fall and the best able to execute the position - I am that person.

She then went into the issues, the economy, the war in Iraq, health care for all, college affordability, home ownership with the ability to keep it. This campaign has been good for the democratic party - record number of registrations and voter turnout. Committed to putting a democrat in the WH and she will her heart out for the nominee. The election is still so close and she made a pitch for the remaining uncommitted superdelegates to think about their vote.

She mentioned going on to the remaining states and Puerto Rico - well that's it. She obviously is hoping for Florida and Michigan delegates to be included and therefore the total delegates needed to secure the party nomination is 2209 and not 2025. However, even with this change, it is difficult to have the numbers work out for her. A good speech, it should help her receive donations which her campaign needs. She will need something to occur that is an event changer - that is damaging to the Obama campaign. If Michelle Bernard is correct and the Obama campaign announces tomorrow a huge fundraising total for the month of April, it makes it real tough on Clinton.

9:37 PM ET 30% reporting Clinton 64% Obama 29%. Let the spin begin.

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