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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Winning West Virginia Clinton Vows to Go on until June

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

Los Angeles, 14 May, ( Hillary Clinton won a widely-expected landslide victory-two to one over Senator Barrack Obama. Her tough rhetoric highlighted a growing concern that a mortally wounded Democratic party might lose the battle to Senator John McCain in November. Clinton, however, may face new fundraising woes as she is in debt to the tune of over $ 20 million. She has to win the next five states- Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico by the same margin as she did yesterday if she were to clinch the nomination. Obama who was campaigning elsewhere yesterday said that “Clinton victory is not expected to change the dynamics of this race.” Meanwhile, Obama picked up four more super delegates earlier to offset the loss. He has picked up 27 super delegates since his victory in North Carolina a week ago, negating some of what Clinton gain.

Virginia is the 3rd poorest state in the country, a state in which Democratic voters were 95 per cent white and in which almost seven in 10 voters did not have a college degree. It is also an older state, with four in 10 voters over 60. Virginia’s median income is $34,000 (U.S.) and more than 16 per cent live below the poverty line. These demographic and main characteristics suited Clintons’ approach to politics according to most observers.

Meanwhile, Obama prepared himself to be the challenger of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain, spent his day in Missouri, a swing state expected to play a key role in the November vote. He has to spend more time in states with largely white, blue-collar voters in order to be really competitive at the general election. His weakness among those voters became apparent after the Virginia result yesterday.

With no suspense over the expected result in Virginia, both candidates were staking their positions as the one with the edge over Senator McCain. Obama camp published data from past elections showing its candidate with essentially the same level of support among white voters as past nominees. They cited data from the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign showing that as late as April, six in 10 Democratic voters backed other candidates in the race. They said that still the Democratic Party had united behind Bill Clinton that year. However, Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said Monday that Democratic supporters should find it troubling that Obama all but ignored West Virginia and cannot carry swing states.

They highlighted the fact that Clinton has already won Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, California and other big states. They added that with the win in West Virginia, Clinton will have once again proven her greater ability to win in the crucial states.

Most believe that it is only Clinton who can determine the length of the Democratic campaign. But she is headed towards Oregon and Kentucky next Tuesday. Most observers say that Obama is heavily favored on the west coast and Clinton is expected to easily win Kentucky, allowing Obama to claim overall victory by clinching the majority of pledged delegates. They believe that this will allow Clinton to bow out with a victory.

So far Obama leads in every category in the race - delegates, popular vote, the party elite known as super delegates and states won. Before yesterday’s result, Obama had 1,874 delegates to Clinton's to 1,701. The new numbers are being tallied as I write. Obama may have lost ground to the tune of 15 delegates. The presumptive nominee has to win 2,025 delegates.

- Asian Tribune -

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