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POLL: ARG West Virginia (5/7-8)


American Research Group

West Virginia
n=600
Clinton 66, Obama 23

 

Comments
Nickberry:

Wow... with only 6% undecided... and for some reason Obama has decided not to campaign in West Virginia (except media ads) and hand this state to Hillary.

I guess that is OK for the primary strategy, but if he is going to be the Democratic nominee it seems like he should make an effort now for potential payoff in the General... unless he can then get Bill and Hillary to campaign for him in Appalachia.

Obama's electoral college strategy does not look as solid as his primary state approach.

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goawaybillary:

oh silly nickberry......


the strategy is to let hill-billy campaign for hillbillies. that is her punishment.

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Sacks Romana:

Yeah, this is pretty crazy. West Virginia and Kentucky look to be the only out and out slaughterings of Obama in the priamry season outside of Arkansas and New York. And he doesn't seem to be doing much about it.

Anyone whose looked at the math knows that Obama will have a clinch on the overall majority of pledged delegates after KY and OR on May 20th. Apparently since he's planning to declare victory on that day (rightfully so I think since Clinton doesn't even have a real superdelegate lead to counteract this anymore), he's taking a break from the constant rallies, diner visits, town halls, etc.

As someone who thinks that the drawn out primary has actually greatly helped the dems (massive interest, media coverage, and turnout), I think this is a bad move on his part. He should campaign just as hard in these two states, even if it only bumps him up to a still depressing level of 33-35%. It would increase voter registration, turnout, interest, etc, etc. This battle has been engaging people like nothing before it.

By sidestepping these two primaries (and going for a nice victory in OR on the same day he loses big in KY), he might be doing just fine in wrapping up the nomination, but losing an opportunity further down the line.

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Andrew_in_California:

West Virgina is like the Utah of the East Coast. It will never vote democratic. Why bother campaigning there after he's essentially sealed the deal?

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Sacks Romana:

Also, can someone explain why WV is a lost cause for Obama and Dems in general. He destroyed her in VA right next door. I'm from the midwest and so I'm not familiar with the dynamics playing out over there.

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desirous:

"Also, can someone explain why WV is a lost cause for Obama and Dems in general. He destroyed her in VA right next door. I'm from the midwest and so I'm not familiar with the dynamics playing out over there."

Virginia and West Virginia are about as similar as South Korea and North Korea. Obama lost western Virginia by a 50-point margin. I'm seeing something like 30-70 in WV next Tuesday. Better not to draw attention to the state, because he can simply answer that Huckabee did well later on too.

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Dan:

@Sacks:

Obama did well in most parts of Virginia, but not all of it. Take a look in particular at the vote totals from counties in southwestern Virginia (the areas the border WV): he performed abysmally. In one county he only managed 9% of the vote!

Overall, he has consistently performed poorly in Appalachian counties (again, check out his poor results in northern Georgia, eastern & northern Tennnessee, southeastern Ohio, and southwestern Pennsylvania). There are many factors at play here, but it seems to be a mix of class, economic, and racial issues.

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richard pollara:

Calling West Virginia the "Utah" of the east is just ridiculous and illustrates how out of touch the Obama supporters are with the center of this country. Since 1968 Democrats have won WV in 6 out of 9 elections. In 1960 Kennedy defeated Humphrey to largely put the question of religion to rest. West Virginia is a microcosm of a large chunk of middle America that Obama has shown no abiltiy or willingness to court. If you think WV is unwinnable for Democrats check out Pablano's analysis.

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Nickberry:

A couple of responses to other posters:

Virginia is more affluent, more educated, more ethnically diverse, and tied to Washington, D.C. This state is separated from West Virginia by a physical barrier with few highway passages through...called the Appalachia Mountains.

West Virginia voted Democratic in 1992 and 1996 (Bill Clinton)... as well as Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio. So never use the word "NEVER."

And especially for "goawaybillary"... your comments are irrelevant and offensive.

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desirous:

"Since 1968 Democrats have won WV in 6 out of 9 elections. In 1960 Kennedy defeated Humphrey to largely put the question of religion to rest. West Virginia is a microcosm of a large chunk of middle America that Obama has shown no abiltiy or willingness to court. If you think WV is unwinnable for Democrats check out Pablano's analysis."

Obama can't win WV the same way McCain can't win VT. It is not any specific candidate's fault the culture of a state is a few standard deviations off.

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goawaybillary:

silly nickleberry,

YOUR candidate said the same thing, dummy. go look it up on usa today. so, is she OFFENSIVE TOO??

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/declarations.html

She is the only one who can win "white, uneducated voters" - those are her words - not mine.

What a statement - only uneducated racists will vote for her........so she should be the nominee......what a crazy bitch.

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desirous:

Speaking of the B-word, you should've seen the militant old Clinton women terrorizing younger female Obama supporters at the caucus I attended. I had never heard ladies of their standing utter such foul language in my lifetime. That they could get away with such behavior while men cannot even utter a peep, is sexist.

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Tybo:

Another state that dems can write off.
a state that goes Dem most of the time.

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djneedle83:

I'll give up West Virgina for the hopes of winning New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa. Hillary Clinton can't win any of there formentioned states in the general election.

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Strick:

Why should he visit WV, of KY, he will lose the entire South anyway. He doesn't have the necessary support in the South, I don't care how many young, new or AA voters show up the % will be to low to carry the South. Hillary has a strong chance of winning WV, KY, and Ark. so she might be the best for Nov.

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BLeigh82:

Silly for anyone to think Obama would actually have a chance in West Virginia in the general. It just isn't going to happen.

Hillary would have a shot there maybe, but it doesn't matter anymore at this point anyway. Obama knows that he needs to put western states like Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico in play. He won't be winning any southern states.

He'll show up there for a day or two...but why would he campaign hard prior to this primary when he knows that Hillary will blow him out there no matter what he does? It will only give her another reason to say that the race should keep going if he has a real presence in West Virginia and loses by 30 points.

His campaign is smart. They are letting Hillary have her victory lap in West Virginia and Kentucky to end her campaign on a good note. They can claim victory in Oregon as he hits the magic delegate number on the same day as Kentucky...laud Clinton for being such a formidable opponent...and then say that the race is over and it is time to focus on the general election.

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Gmann:

The money he is saving from pushing WV and KY will help to pay off Hillary's debts. The pay-off will probably be part of her negotiations in officially calling it quits.

The Game is over.
Back to NY for Hillary

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Tybo:

"I'll give up West Virgina for the hopes of winning New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa."

Total democratic voters(caucus) in new mexico (145K),colorado(120K)...
(Iowas and Nevada didn't release teh caucus # of voters)

Nothing, nothing to pin your had on for those two states for the democrats.

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Tybo:

"I'll give up West Virgina for the hopes of winning New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa."

Total democratic voters(caucus) in new mexico (145K),colorado(120K)...
(Iowas and Nevada didn't release teh caucus # of voters)
New Mexico had over 800K votes in 04, Colorado over 1.1 MIllioin

Nothing, nothing to pin your had on for those two states for Obama.

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Nickberry:

It is agreed that Obama will not be getting any southern states... including Florida. And Pennsylvania and Ohio are really questionable.

If there were a different GOP candidate... possibly the western states would offer a chance for an Obama win... but the GOP candidate is a western Senator from Arizona... So how Obama thinks that New Mexico and Nevada work for him... I do not know.

Colorado is difficult to call because they have some effective extreme factions there... anti-tax, anti-immigration in contrast to the increasing population of higher income higher educated.

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RS:

I don't know where folks got the idea that Senator Obama is not campaigning in WV and Kentucky, and that this means he is writing off these states in the GE (well, Kentucky, maybe... ;-))

There are still a few days left, and campaign plans can change. To quote Senator Obama:

"Sen. Clinton is a formidable candidate. She is very likely to win West Virginia and Kentucky. Those are two states where she has insurmountable leads," he said. "We're going to have spend some time there. But we're also going to Oregon, Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico." [emphasis mine]

Besides, Senator Clinton made ZERO visits to Colorado in January/pre-Feb 5, and one visit to NM. Senator Obama at least visited CO once and NM twice. Does that mean Senator Clinton has written off CO for the GE?

That would be a very bad decision. Forget the primary turnout (caucuses!) CO and NM are pretty competitive this year - both had Democratic Governors, and with the incumbent GOP Senator retiring, very good chances for Democratic pickups (funnily enough, both Udalls!) So I'd say the Dems' chances in NM and CO are very good this year...

Seriously, folks (on both sides) - give the animosity a rest. The Democratic Presidential race will play itself out soon enough. And if you listen to your favored candidate, you'll hear them *repeatedly* say (now, anyway) that either Democrat is much better than Senator McCain.

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goawaybillary:

NICKLEBERRY - YOU ARE WRONG - YET AGAIN!

Look at the latest poll from Florida-

43-44 (A TIE!!!)

AND OBAMA HASN'T EVEN CAMPAIGNED THERE!!!!

The old people there don't even know who he is.

FLORIDA IS OBAMA'S. YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOOOOAAARRRDDDD!!! YESSSSSS!!!!

http://www.electoral-vote.com/

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Nickberry:

FYI... That is one poll (Quinnipiac)... where Hillary beats McCain by 8 and Obama beats McCain by 1.

Another poll (Rasmussen) has Hillary beating McCain by 1 and McCain beating Obama by 15.

Pollster average is McCain 47.1% over Obama 39.2%.
Real Politics average is McCain 49% over Obama 40%.

Florida is a swing state but it has been trending for Hillary and McCain and against Obama. One of the factors is that Florida Democrats are angry at Obama for blocking their attempts for a revote, etc.

Also Obama in fact did campaign in Florida when he ran National ads during the South Carolina campaign.... The only time he did run national ads. The South Carolina primary was Jan. 26 followed by Florida on Jan. 29.

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Nickberry:

Seriously... RS... There is NOT animosity on both sides. Some of us are using statistics rather than disparaging remarks to have a debate... someone on one side is not.

Also according to Newsweek.com blog today:

"Obama Gives West Virginia the Cold Shoulder--The next state on the Democratic primary schedule is, of course, West Virginia, which has Tuesday all to its amoeba-shaped self. Why is it, then, that Barack Obama has yet to book a single stop in, say, Shepherdstown, Charleston, Philippi, Sutton, Fayetteville, Fairlea or Bluefield--all of which have already hosted either Bill or Hillary Clinton? "
(http://www.blog.newsweek.com/blogs/stumper/archive/2008/05/09/wva.aspx)

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Shadar:

"he might be doing just fine in wrapping up the nomination, but losing an opportunity further down the line."

He isn't losing any opportunity. There is zero chance Obama will win WV/KY in the general. Those are two states he just is going to have to completely forget about as he will likely lose them by 20-30% in the general.

When people in those states are willing to go on record in an interview and say "I will not vote for him because he is black" you know it's a no-go.

I wouldn't even let the Clinton's waste their time there. Send them around VA/NC/SC/FL/NH/PA and other states in which they will appeal to voters he will need.

Neither WV/KY will matter in the GE, there are already going to be 20ish states up for grabs in the general... why waste time on small states that have next to 0 chance to vote for him.

Not to mention the primary strategy of not going there. If he campaigns there and loses by 30% it will look far worse than if he doesn't go and loses by 30%. His trips there will make a very tiny difference.

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bran1322:

Giving up on West Virginia is incredibly dumb on Obama's part. West Virginia has historically along with Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C. been the most Democratic states throughout history and only since 2000 has Republicans started winning there. The voter registration numbers are 2 to 1 Dems over Reps. In a close election, every state matters, ex. Gore winning West Virginia gives him the Presidency. Whether he is close or not in the General election is not the point, its that this week is the only time where he can campaign in the state and have national media attention there really focusing on his West Virginia stances. It also as a Democrat highlights something I really worry about Obama and that is Hillary does generally 2/1 or 3/2 times more campaign events a day compared to Obama. If he is seen as not working his butt off everyday, then some may feel he doesn't deserve the Presidency. I don't mind if he loses because he loses, but if he loses because he didn't do everything he possibly could to win, I don't think I can stand to forgive him or the 4 years of Republican presidency his legacy will give to history.

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desirous:

What's all the fuss about? Obama can't win WV. He'll lose by more in WV than he will in Utah. Different candidates have different strengths. Appalachian voters are not Obama's strength. He's smart to invest in Oregon, a state that he leads in but where Clinton is behind McCain.

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Nickberry:

Twenty Years Ago tomorrow....

In 1988, Jesse Jackson campaigned a lot in West Virginia, much more than the front runner Dukakis... Yeah, he lost, but that is not the point.

In Jackson's own words... from the New York Times May 10, 1988-- In West Virginia...
--In recent days, as word spread that Mr. Jackson planned to spend the night in his home, Mr. Cook heard disparaging comments about his visitor from some neighbors.

This morning, a local sanitation worker, standing near Mr. Cook's home, told reporters, ''Ain't voting for no xxxxxx.''

Mr. Jackson, upon hearing about the comment, shrugged it off. ''You deal with it,'' he said, ''Hatred leads to violence. You try to offset ignorance with enlightenment. You try to offset fear.'' ''When I come into these situations,'' Mr. Jackson said, ''I know I am not just getting a vote and leaving. I am also expanding the horizons of our culture. I have to face that prejudgment every day, even when it's unstated, which makes makes my candidacy a little different.''

Maybe Obama could take on a similar attitude of "enlightenment"... considering he is supposed to be bringing people together. But all words and no action. Too bad he ignores the history of Jesse Jackson's campaigns... too bad he thinks that any comparison of Jackson to him is dismissive and belittling. Too bad and so disappointing.

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Snowspinner:

The historical trend of West Virginia seems to me beside the point - West Virginia is full of the voters the Democrats have done worst with the last few elections - lower class white voters with strong religious ties.

For a variety of reasons, starting in 1994, the GOP has developed a stranglehold on these voters such that the south is gone in any election the Democrats don't win by a landslide. If they lose anywhere these days, it will be in the south, and West Virginia is the sort of state they've been weakening in. Clinton won Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky in 96, and got Georgia in 92. Anybody who thinks those states should all be in play is nuts.

The only southern state that has any serious vulnerabilities is Virginia, due to its large black population and rapidly liberalizing north. In a strong Democratic year North Carolina could possibly swing based on the black population and the cities, but in practice we're a long ways from that happening.

The Democrats need to work on strength in some smaller states, but West Virginia isn't an easy one. If they want to pursue states that Bush took in 2004, they should look to Iowa, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Especially because the Republicans have focused hard and with some success on Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, making them harder states to win.

If Kerry had won those five he could have lost Pennsylvania and still won.

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bran1322:

I agree with your points Snowspinner but I disagree with your main idea. First, Kerry could have won those five states and lost PA but if you think about it, its probably more easy to just win PA, hence why Hillary keeps making those and rightfully so that she can win the big states. My point about West Virginia is while I completely agree WV is an uphill climb, as Dems we have to pick off a few uphill climb states and WV seems like a reasonable top target along with those states you've mentioned since there are many more Democrats there relative to other swing states, and it doesn't necessarily have to be Obama that makes the blue collar pitch there. But my overall point is simply conceding the state to Hillary or McCain is a bad idea regardless of whether he wins or loses. At least force them to use some resources there or keep the state in a maybe we could come close in a few months later scenario. At least cutting the margin helps remove some of the he can't close beliefs and most importantly while many have accused Hillary's big state stragety as wrong, if he doesn't campaign in hostile territory he can't make the argument that he's been making that he can expand the battlefield unlike Clinton.

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Snowspinner:

Well, it's worth noting, Obama currently handily beats McCain in Pennsylvania, so it's not exactly an either-or. :)

As for West Virginia, I think that, had May 6th gone differently, you'd be right. But the general consensus seems to be that he did close with North Carolina and with a near draw in Indiana. The visible shift in mood since then has been striking, and I think it means Obama can now afford to pick his battles. Clinton, after all, declined to contest ten in a row and wasn't counted out. And we're rapidly coming to where Obama has several months in which he can use primary money to campaign exclusively against McCain - saving money for that contest is a sound strategy at this point. By not contesting WV and by visibly putting no expectations in it he doesn't run any risk of a loss slowing his momentum. And by the next contest he'll lose Kentucky drastically and win Oregon decisively, and probably come out ahead on delegates for the day.

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Tybo:

"Well, it's worth noting, Obama currently handily beats McCain in Pennsylvania, so it's not exactly an either-or. :)"

how much has McCain campaigned in Pa?
Obama spent more money in the PA primary than any candidate has ever spent in the GE/

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Tybo:

"Well, it's worth noting, Obama currently handily beats McCain in Pennsylvania, so it's not exactly an either-or. :)"

how much has McCain campaigned in Pa?
Obama spent more money in the PA primary than any candidate has ever spent in the GE/

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Tybo:

"Well, it's worth noting, Obama currently handily beats McCain in Pennsylvania, so it's not exactly an either-or. :)"

how much has McCain campaigned in Pa?
Obama spent more money in the PA primary than any candidate has ever spent in the GE/

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Nickberry:

Obama is NOT beating McCain "handily" in Pennsylvania. The following from Pollster:

Quinnipiac 4/23-29/08 McCain 38 Obama 47
Rasmussen 4/24/08 McCain 44 Obama 43
Strategic Vision (R) 4/18-20/08 McCain48 Obama 40

The average has McCain and Obama essentially tied.

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