A new Suffolk University poll released today of Democratic primary voters in the state of West Virginia found that Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama by 36 points in the state. Democrats favored Clinton over Obama by a 60%-24% margin. Sixty seven percent of Democrats surveyed said that Clinton should stay in the race.
Seventy two percent said that she is not hurting the Democratic Party by staying in the race. Obama had a surprisingly low favorability rating of only 44% in the poll. In contrast, Clinton had a 70% favorable rating.
Only 40% of Democratic voters said that they would still vote for the Party’s nominee in the fall if their candidate lost. Twenty three percent responded that they would vote for John McCain, 6% said they would vote for Ralph Nader, and 30% were undecided.
West Virginians are apparently on a different planet than the rest of us, because a majority of those surveyed still think that Clinton will be the nominee. Even when they asked aside from whom they favor, who they think that the next president will be, 31% said Clinton, 29% said Obama, 26% said McCain, and 11% were undecided.
Only 51% of Democrats surveyed believed Obama could beat McCain in the fall. West Virginia is another state that tends to vote against its economic interests. It went for Bush in 2000 and 2004. The state loves the conservative Clintons.
The reason why Obama hasn’t campaigned in the state is because these trends are fairly obvious. He will probably have to write off West Virginia in the fall to McCain as well.
Al Gore won the Democratic primary in the state with 72% of the vote in 2000, and John Kerry won with 69% in 2004. They each lost the state in the general elections by 6 and 13 points respectively.
This fall Obama will make an effort in the state, if only to force McCain to expend precious resources that he can’t really afford to spend, but this is a state that has been trending Republican, and it would appear that they have judged Obama to be too liberal for them.
Tomorrow night’s result will be no surprise, and it will be too little, too late to save Hillary Clinton.
Full Poll Results: