Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html en-gb 30 Sat 23 May 2015 16:48:38 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=97#comment48 Justin:i think that no one was by-passing any states during the election campaign; until John McCain pulled out of some states!!!!! Fri 26 Dec 2008 02:49:48 GMT+1 talisyn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=95#comment47 Thank you for telling me that I, with my $24000/year job, white skin, and no college degree, am not important to the democratic party. Of course I am Idahoan, so i should be use to it by now. Sun 18 May 2008 21:10:08 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=93#comment46 Never be surprised by the ignorace of people to vote against themselves and their best interests Fri 16 May 2008 19:16:58 GMT+1 Shawn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=91#comment45 jegmeister wrote: "We do not want a McCain victory - so stop attacking and sniping at Obama and give him a chance to fight the Republicans."_____________I really wish the Hillary supporters who are cheering for John McCain would see the irony that it only highlights - AGAIN - why she doesn't deserve the nomination. Maybe if they had gone to college they would get it. I'm teasing. ;-)I for one am very thankful and relieved that the nomination will go to the candidate whose supporters actually...you know, CARE about our Democratic values and the party. Only the MOST deranged Hillary fanatics would actually vote for a third Bush term in order to take revenge on Democracy itself, and the millions of new voters Obama has brought in will more than make up for their selfish little tantrum. I personally enjoy mocking them, because since they have already decided to vote for Crazy Ol' Grampa McSame, Bush III, there is absolutely no reason for REAL Democrats to care what they have to say.I really do have respect and sympathy for disappointed Hillary supporters who are rational beings and good Democrats. The others can take a long walk off a short pier on their way to voting for Bush III. Don't let the door hot your butt on the way out of the Democratic party.Obama will win in November because the people are FINALLY voting on the issues - none of which favor the Republicans. All the smears, lies, xenophobia, insults, threats, race-baiting, guilt-by-association and dirty tricks by the Clintons have failed. And that's all Republicans have these days. Thu 15 May 2008 17:10:08 GMT+1 Rama76 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=89#comment44 I cannot believe the Clintons who i love and supported for 16 years are now resorting to pandering to tacit racism in a bid to win at all costs. I can assure you that if Obama wins or loses it won't be because of his race, that is a red herring. He has galvanised a new younger demographic that is beyond the reach of Hillary. Now working-class wites are seen as an oppressed minority competing with Black for priority, Obama looks elitist because i a black man were to talk like the working classes he wouldnt gain the repsect of the masses, if he speaks in middle-class tones then he is elitist. All this so-called bigotry shows that working-class whites are uncertain of their future in this globalised world that they are seemingly racist. Jon Edwards will go some way to bridging the gap, i expect "living on a prayer will" by Bon Jovi will be Obamas campaign song "Johnny used to work on the docks....." Thu 15 May 2008 13:55:07 GMT+1 AAlvinTwiningham http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=87#comment43 Brian,The voters of WV themselves said that race played a part in their decision in the exit polls. I believe the number was around %20, the highest in the nation so far. That makes them (that 20% I mean) racist by definition, no? Thu 15 May 2008 13:37:13 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=85#comment42 And Reuben, Check out Obama's approach to Kentucky!Pretty direct, I'd say.;-)ed Thu 15 May 2008 12:12:58 GMT+1 minneap http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=83#comment41 The suggestion that ignorance, lack of education, or bigotry played a major role in the decisions of WV voters who turned out for Clinton last night isn't very helpful. The characterization of 1.8 million people as "rednecks" or "backwards," whatever those words mean anyway, is absurd for reasons I won't waste time going into. If a white college grad from a liberal-leaning city with a solid economic base can take offense at such a blanket generalization, imagine how the people you're talking about must feel about it.John Edwards' name was still on the ballot in WV for whatever reason, and the 7% there who voted for him probably preferred to do so rather than select an "undecided" option or stay home. Seems to me like a protest vote. After all, libertarians, greens and socialists run in our presidential elections all the time knowing full well that they'll only garner tiny percentages of the vote, but some still vote for them if they don't feel the mainstream candidates represent their values or ideology. WV's economy has been struggling for a long time and there's a strong values-driven underdog mentality there--Edwards' own rags-to-riches story has to resonate there, and his down-home manner and accent don't hurt either.The suggestion that the news is "out of date" in WV is absurd--the state has internet and TV just like anywhere else, and you can bet people there care just as much about what's going on in the world as people anywhere else.As for the race question, there are few more complicated issues in America today, and it's good that this presidential race is helping to get a dialogue going. One shouldn't generalize about the South, or about rural areas, or hill country, or whatever when talking about concentrations of bigotry--anyone who's ever been to suburban Nassau County on Long Island knows that visceral racism is alive and well in states we like to think of as "liberal" and forward-looking.Obama got my vote in the February 5 caucus here and he's going to get it in November, but if his candidacy is going to mean anything we as a country (and as international observers--I don't want to leave out at least one of the posters I saw talking about rednecks and bigots) are going to have to get past our petty regional and social differences.BrianMinneapolis Wed 14 May 2008 16:59:09 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=81#comment40 Two more for Obama!xxed Wed 14 May 2008 16:30:42 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=79#comment39 Two more for Obama!??????????xxed Wed 14 May 2008 16:17:58 GMT+1 theologineer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=77#comment38 Note that I have scrupulously avoided words such as "his" or "her" in any of the above. It really should not matter in this day and age whether a candidate is male or female, whether they look black (despite having one white parent), or whether they have an Islamic-sounding name (despite being, apparently, a nominal christian). Of course, if the American electorate cannot manage to grow up before November, them's two fairly major strikes against that A-rab N-word... Wed 14 May 2008 16:11:51 GMT+1 Mike http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=75#comment37 Justin, you have seriously reduced my productivity by exposing me to 270towin.com. Its far too addictive! Wed 14 May 2008 16:07:50 GMT+1 JPPeterson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=73#comment36 The Obama campaign has "bypassed" about 17 million voters nationwide to date. That's why this isn't over yet. Wed 14 May 2008 16:05:58 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=71#comment35 Marimonster,Surely you do not suggest that BBC staff are not entitled to their opinion, just as surely aswe are posting ours? Wed 14 May 2008 15:55:52 GMT+1 marimonster http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=69#comment34 I also think this sort of post raises some serious questions of journalistic integrity. Clearly a blog is more of an opinion piece than a news report but the fact that this particular blog is prominently featured on the BBC website contravenes their impartiality. If any BBC wonk is reading - be careful, it may seem minor but this kind of thing seriously dents your reputation. Wed 14 May 2008 15:06:32 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=67#comment33 Interesting analysis of Appalachia, which neglects to mention the problem any politician who attempts to have "green" credentials will have in any area so dependent upon coal-mining.The method used in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky is called "mountaintop removal", and it is devastating to an area of great natural beauty and diversity.Sad, but true. Just check "Google Earth"xxed Wed 14 May 2008 14:53:06 GMT+1 marimonster http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=65#comment32 "Ninety-five percent of voters in preliminary exit poll results were whites..."Now none of that suggests that these people's views should not count, but they are not on the cutting edge of America's future nor of the Democratic party's future."I have no intention of getting involved in the general discussion about the Democrat nomination, although I will state that for what it is worth I prefer Obama and I will ignore the more generalised snobbery of this post. However, am I alone in thinking that it's a little premature to commit white Americans to the dustbin of history. Wed 14 May 2008 14:51:40 GMT+1 Bahama_Bairn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=63#comment31 How wonderfully elitist! Wed 14 May 2008 14:36:53 GMT+1 AAlvinTwiningham http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=61#comment30 My wife has college educated co-workers who still insist that Obama is not only Muslim, but some sort of AQ sleeper cell. Of course, this fervent belief does not stop them for also denouncing him for being one of Rev Wright's parishoners. It is amazing how people can delude themselves into believing that they are not racist by coming up with such absurd logic. Wed 14 May 2008 14:28:28 GMT+1 ronaine http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=59#comment29 I notice a number of recent endorsers for Sen. Obama cited reasons for their decision that chime with the campaign's unity message. Reaching out to all Amercians etc. They have been "inspired" by the Senator.And as noted in a post above (an issue I also struggle to see in any way but the obvious) many Democrats seem to voice reluctance about voting for the Senator in November.And then we have Jamie Coomerasamy's piece today which includes the following:"Of course, it's hard to tell how many of those voters really will break with generations-old Democratic traditions and favour Mr McCain in November, but it's safe to assume that some will. Among them, I would guess, will be 77-year-old Miss Hale, who told me in Yesterdays diner in Logan that she didn't like Obama's "Muslim faith" and Eugene, who casually mentioned - as he was sitting in the barber's chair - that his father didn't want blacks in his house, let alone in the White House."Would it not, at some point, be Sen. Clinton's duty to the party to actively campaign amongst these people she's worked so hard to win over, on the candidate's behalf? Surely it would be a betrayal of all her political instincts and everything she's worked for in public life to encourage the ignorance quoted above? Wed 14 May 2008 14:11:50 GMT+1 Emmnues http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=57#comment28 Why is the press not reporting that 7% of the elctorate in WV had no clue Edwards had dropped out of the race? Why is the press shy from reporting accurately the depth of resentment against Obama in WV just because he is black?While there are some who want to equate the overwhelming African-American support to black racism, they fail to see that the black community vote became lopsided when Hillary began playing the race card. It was a reaction to Hillary's tactics.As an outside observer, it seems obvious that WV does not reflect the general population and economic structure in the USA. It also seems obvious that the people there either don't bother to follow the news or the news there is out of date.I am at a loss that after the Rev. Wright storm some still see Obama as a muslim. It is also most amusing that Hillary is still propounding new theories as to why she is the best candidate for the party - now she is using the 'swing' state argument.Obama is a new phenomenom knocking down conventional wisdom. So Hillary's new argument based on - 'this is how it has always been' - shows her campaigns failure to see the new dynamics that has gripped America politics from now henceforth.Irrespective of whether Obama goes on to be the DNC nominee or losses the general to McCain, the colour of American politics has changed for good. This is history in the making, a new America is coming forth. Change is painful for some, but inevitable. Wed 14 May 2008 14:07:15 GMT+1 DrJabbs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=55#comment27 Interesting stat from yesterday no-one has really noted.Nebraska held a non-binding primary. While Obama won, the vote was split 49% - 46%. Note that back in the caucus he won 68% - 32%.While no-one doubts his grass-roots organisational skills, caucuses are not a secret ballot and tend to reflect activist support and mobilisation. Of Obama's 28 wins, 12 were caucuses (13 if you include the Texas caucus). Clinton has only one a single caucus.Read from this what you choose. Wed 14 May 2008 13:54:46 GMT+1 freyjasfan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=53#comment26 When assessing the Democratic primary race, it is important to remember that vast numbers of Democrats are not enthusiastic about either of the two remaining candidates. The preferred candidate of many dropped out so early that very few states ever voted on the original slate of candidates. Many Democrats feel that the two left were entirely the choice of the mainstream media, which started beating the drum for only these two months and months before Iowa. Most Democrats feel downright tepid about these two, not at all angrily divided as portrayed by the press.The reason is that of all the starters, these two were the most unelectable from the outset. McCain may well win for this reason alone so it is ridiculous to blame the Democratic voters stuck with them for sitting on their hands in November. The only reason that might be true is that they perceive NONE of the three candidates to be good news at all. None is the answer to America's problems or they would be talking about different issues. With all of the money they have raked in, they must owe a powerful lot of favours, none of which are owed to the interests of the American people at large. None will end the Iraq war anytime soon. Etc. Neither of the Democrats are really Democrats in the old fashioned sense of representing the working class with strength and vigor.It's important to plan a campaign based around the electorate that exists in reality, which includes votes counting equally from all demographics. Berating and namecalling those who disagree with your personal choice is only going to repel rather than attract those voters. All people are important. If you want their votes, treat them as if they are. If you don't, stop pretending that there is something wrong with THEM rather than the choices on offer and the nastiness of some of their fervid supporters.You can't even build a coalition this way.Thank you. Wed 14 May 2008 13:53:02 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=51#comment25 By the way, Justin, based on the state of oureducational system, I would not blindly adoptthe notion that college graduates are the futureof the Democratic party or anything else inAmerica. There was a book published in the 90'sentitled "The Dumbing Down of America",and if you want to get the gist of it, I suggestyou take a look at:http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14971 Wed 14 May 2008 13:40:28 GMT+1 jegmeister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=48#comment24 Is Hilary Clinton possible the most odious, smug and arrogant person in the entire universe?Hilary - it's time to get the message. The race is over - that's spelt - O-V-E-R.You cannot possibly win and you know it. The mud-slinging, the smears, the delusional out of touch with reality speeches and the warmongering language (ie obliterate Iran) have not done the trick.If there is any weakness that Obama has (the supposed white-collar redneck bigots who won't vote for him - is that really a bad thing?), it has been pointed out so much by you that McCain no longer needs to work it out for himself. He just waits for you to do it for him.Hilary - stop making an idiot of yourself and damaging the Democrat party with your headswollen ego and think of the long term.We do not want a McCain victory - so stop attacking and sniping at Obama and give him a chance to fight the Republicans.If you have any beliefs in the party you are representing and are not just in it for yourself, you will listen and pull out now.Our patience is running out. Wed 14 May 2008 13:30:22 GMT+1 Candace9839 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=46#comment23 Obama is steadily picking up superdelegate endorsements and West Virginia will not save Clinton who is behind in delegates, superdelegates and the popular vote. Wed 14 May 2008 12:40:04 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=44#comment22 Erankew,Yeah! I do think Obama can take a good deal of credit, and not least for surrounding himself with clever folk. A good delegator is likely to be an effective President.Conversely, HRC has demonstrated a lack of ability in that vital area.I look forward to a new era in which the "America" brand can be rehabilitated abroad.Here's to the true beginning of the American Century after a very dodgy start.xxed Wed 14 May 2008 12:38:06 GMT+1 DrCahil http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=42#comment21 So Hillary wins W.A. and makes it like she's won the General! This woman never ceases to amaze, or rather, amuse me.But seriously, Obama doesn't need W.A. in the GE. It only has 5 electoral votes! Only 5! So he can give it a wide bath if ever he wanted to. Wed 14 May 2008 12:32:30 GMT+1 OnlyHereForTheFood http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=40#comment20 Justin, with talk of the Democratic party "tearing itself apart", how about a short word on the GOP meltdown? They've just lost a seat in Northern Mississippi, their third "Deep South" lost this year.I don't know how much effect this will have on the race to the Whitehouse (probably minimal). The winner there kept his distance from both Obama and Clinton - but the Republicans attempt to make it a national contest completely backfired, lessons to be learnt for both sides? Wed 14 May 2008 12:30:34 GMT+1 erankew http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=38#comment19 I think alot of people have lost some perspective on this election. The facts speak pretty loud though. Hillary Clinton, incase anyone needed any reminding is a CLINTON. Shes one of the most influential politicians on Capitol Hill, shes has the know how, the friends in high places, the funds (can you imagine lending yourself $11 Mn...yikes), she is experienced tenacious, but she is losing, and losing on all fronts. Nobody gave Obama a chance, no one predicted it would come to this. Obama says he cannot take all the credit himself, but I think he can take alot of it. May be its his speeches, may be its his charisma or may be, god forbid, its his policies. But the fact is, hes gone from being an unknown to an underdog to being the clear front runner, and now I cant remember a time when he wasnt frontrunner. Its nice to say that race isnt an issue, but lets face it, it is. But somehow hes gone beyond that boundary, ofcourse there are places like WV where it remains a BIG issue, but the points table shows that much of America, indeed thus far, the majority, have voted that they dont care about race, they dont care about his relative lack of experience. Hillary has called him an elitist, knowing full well that if that if anyone must be labelled an elitist, its her. She has tried every trick in the book, shes used the tax holiday to try to play to the gallery, it just hasnt worked. Obama is now ahead on Supers, I really think its time to accept that just may be Obama is capable of accomplishing what seems unlikely. Dont expect a landslide for McCain if/when he goes up against Obama in Nov. When I heard that Hillary would be running for presidential candidate, I was all for it, and I still think she'd do a darn good job butif last year someone woulda told me that a guy called Barack Obama was the front runner to become the dem. candidate for President, I would've had a laugh. For those of you that might have a similar reaction to 'President' Barack Obama, just look back at the primary season. Wed 14 May 2008 11:55:56 GMT+1 johnnybliss http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=36#comment18 Well, I must say I'm surprised.The news agencies do not appear to have gone 360° this time, suddenly declaring Hilary's "groundbreaking victory," etc.The response has been muted and non-sensationalist, for once. In short, *more journalistic*.I am pleased to have been mistaken. Wed 14 May 2008 11:49:23 GMT+1 DianneB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=34#comment17 This post has been Removed Wed 14 May 2008 11:34:53 GMT+1 vesperwalk1979 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=32#comment16 #5 Erankew- thank you, my point exactly- why bother being a member of the democratic party at all? Wed 14 May 2008 11:30:41 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=30#comment15 I think McCain can be certain of West Virginia's electoral votes. Battle at the convention or no battle, it's beginning to look like it will be Obama agains McCain. My own personal view is that it will be a McCain landslide if it is. But were Obama to win, if he does become President, based on what I heard him say on TV yesterday, he will quickly pull out of Iraq...and send those troops to fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is no dove. This isn't the first time he's said something like that. Wed 14 May 2008 10:58:31 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=28#comment14 Reuben,Obama didn't ignore West Virginia. He gave one of his best speeches to a rally in Charlestown Watch it here.xxed Wed 14 May 2008 09:52:11 GMT+1 Reuben33g http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=26#comment13 Obama made a mistake by ignoring West Virginia, and the voters there chose the only candidate that bothered show up. If Obama campaigned in the states that he thinks 'don't matter' he'd have won more of them and have the nomination all sewn up.Instead he's giving up states that keep Hillary in the race.If Obama ignores Oregon, like he did West Virginia, then you'll lose in Oregon as well.If the superdelegates choose Hillary over Obama, it will because they know that Obama doesn't have what it takes to win. Wed 14 May 2008 09:43:56 GMT+1 rupertornelius http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=24#comment12 That 538 site is pretty darn good, Ed. Justin, if you put the word suburbanites first then you get a SEA coalition - could the tide be turning for Obama?! Btw, congrats to Hillary on her meaningless victory. Wed 14 May 2008 09:37:13 GMT+1 Gobberman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=22#comment11 I can't believe that Clinton is boasting about her victory in a state that 7% of the electorate have voted for Edwards. To me her vicotory dance is another desperate attempt for her to try and maintain her hold on a race already run and won, and right that Obama is focussing increasingly on the real race against McCain. Time for party unity if there is going to be a chance to stop a third Bush presidency. Wed 14 May 2008 09:23:15 GMT+1 Board Stupid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=20#comment10 Many Obama supporters have shown their true colours with this result. On CNN forums we have seen the sneering insults given about rednecks and hillbillies. Or we get the "they are racists" accusation - funnily we didn't get that about the 92% of blacks who voted for Obama in North Carolina.I think it is simplistic in the extreme to say that race alone is the factor, or education or any other one issue. People vote for all sorts of reasons. That being said - one has to recognise that for those on low incomes Obama is a jump into the unknown that they just are not willing to take - many blue collar workers in other states feel the same. For them McCain and Clinton are known quantities - Obama is not. It is easy for white liberals annd the elite college graduates to support Obama - because they have the financial wherewithall to ride out a possible US recession - many blue collar workers don't have that comfort.As for the math - sorry you are wrong Justin - we have been here before with McGovern's coalition of African-Americans and white liberals. For a democrat to win they need to have a much broader coalition.And this is not being partisan - Clinton herself would need to widen her base if she somehow won the nomination. She can not rely wholly on the female, senior or blue collar vote. Equally, Obama needs to do a lot more to reach out to blue collar workers, to women, to those groups who he has not influenced such as seniors.If he does not then I have a strong feeling that such voters, especially seniors and blue collar workers (the so-called Reagan Democrats), will gravitate to McCain. Wed 14 May 2008 09:10:27 GMT+1 kburns_ireland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=18#comment9 Obama's decision not to campaign more n WV could have been a brilliant, or stupid decision;1. It could further the impression of inevitability, making him seem as though he dosn't need any more wins, and thereby make Hillary look all the more ridiculous as she thirsts for the scraps from his table.or 2. it could dent his image as the-great-uniter. He got this far specifically by *NOT* 'flying over' states in the mid-west as Clinton did. The demographics of the state may be irreducibly against him, but it does break this consistency. In either case, Clinton's cries of victory are looking increasingly absurd. Wed 14 May 2008 08:49:44 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=16#comment8 David,A blank link looks like this:<a href=""></a>The URL (web address) goes between the double-quotes, and you put your descriptive text between the > and the <Thus: THUS: <ahref="http://home.btconnect.com/tipiglen/links2.html">descriptivetext</a>will give this descriptive textTry it, and you'll feel so slick!;-)ed Wed 14 May 2008 08:46:49 GMT+1 OnlyHereForTheFood http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=14#comment7 I can't help but feel that a lot of pundits and then a lot of followers of the election in general are too strained in seeing it through the prism of past elections. "Candidate X is like Candidate Y from the Year Z" and the "no candidate has won without getting state X". It's lazy and it's nearly always wrong.All the candidates are their own person, Obama isn't JFK or McGovern and McCain isn't Reagan or Dole. The electorate has changed massively over the past two decades too, more ethnically diverse, older and with a high westward migration. This will mean a shift in the usual battlegrounds (although I don't think there will be any relief for the people of Ohio, sorry Buckeye!).The election is already ground breaking in so many ways and will continue to be so, if journalists were more honest (or actually do some research themselves). There won't be a need to "sex up" this election, play it straight and let the events take centre stage. Wed 14 May 2008 08:33:55 GMT+1 drrogeringram http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=12#comment6 To leave or not to leave: that is apparently not the question for Hillary herself, but certainly many of the rest of us are asking. My conclusion: Leave now, Hillary. Leave without spending more money, depleting and exasperating us more. Leave and don't keep pushing your daughter into the camera, as if you think we want another generation of the monarchy of Clintons or Bushes for that matter. I am sure you are well versed in the issues, but leave and let others, such as Barack, take the role of leaders.I don't hate you, Hillary. I don't know you well enough, just enough through the media to think about you and Bill as the past, whose leaving the white house was a scandal with pardons to persons represented by Hillary's brothers. Good thing you gave back those carpets and other items from the White House, since other president's will use them.Yes, I am fed up with the Clintons, all of them and my patience has ended with waiting for her to choose her own exit.The door is that way. Wed 14 May 2008 08:14:51 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=10#comment5 Having said I can't provide links, I realised that the 'net provides information on more than just news and politics! So I'm using this forum to see if what I learned in ten minutes actually works - if it doesn't, I crave readers' indulgence. Apropos Mrs Clinton's West Virginia victory speech,See the Transcipt Hereand for the Video,See Video HereIf it doesn't work, then back to my lessons! Wed 14 May 2008 07:10:55 GMT+1 erankew http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=8#comment4 At the risk of going ever so slightly off the topic, I struggle to understand the mind set of Democrats that have said they wont vote Obama if he wins. I get it, theres been animosity on both sides "feelings have been hurt". but I wouldve thought that teh whole point of being a democrat was that you held the same values and visions of the party. How can anyone come forward on a blog and say, we're democrats but if Hillary doesnt win, we're for McCain. McCains tax policy is the opposite to those of the democrats as is his policy on the war, not to mention the load of social issues. It seems obvious to me that many Americans are not voting on issues. If you see Hillary as the best candidate for the white house, and she loses, surely Obama would still be a safer bet than McCain, cause atleast you know that his policies are the same as HRCs' and as such a democrat should really have no reason NOT to vote Obama... or atleast no reason they'd want to own up to. Wed 14 May 2008 06:51:11 GMT+1 tezzley999 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=6#comment3 I couldn't help but notice several analogies thrown about that compare Hillary's continued campaign to Hiltler's final days in the bunker during the death throws of the war. This really isn't a good sign for her. The tenacity of her efforts have given way to a more desperate (perhaps more truthful) reading. But then again what has she got to lose. She's come this far and at the end of the day you don't declare a race over until the finish line has been passed. At this moment I don't think continuing the race is as dire to Obama as it's been made out to be. An irrefutable conclusion will put paid to any accustions that Hillary would have nipped it, if only she'd been allowed to see it through to the end. Sure, an aggressive campaign against Obama won't help, but he has a much stronger assault awaiting him when he comes up against Mccain Wed 14 May 2008 06:35:20 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=4#comment2 Justin, could you not for once just accept that Mrs Clinton swept the board with her victory? 67% to 26% in her favour simply has to be worth noting. A gracious acknowledgement of her success would not have been out of place - but graciousness seems to be a quality sadly lacking here. Since it is unlikely that you will supply it, in the event that readers did not watch Mrs Clinton deliver her speech, which I thought a wee bit long, the transcript of it can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/us/politics/13text-clinton.html or a video at: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/05/13/sot.wv.clinton.long.cnn (I'd make a smart link as does our Scottish-American contributor, but I'm not that computer-literate.)The median income for American households is $48,000 - so many West Virginians may be doing quite nicely, but no doubt BBC employees receive far more than that and so have little idea of what "ordinary folks" manage on. To suggest that these voters are not "on the cutting edge of America's future" is to minimise the worth and importance of, for want of a better phrase, the working classes, which is essentially what the Democratic Party is all about. As has been noted elsewhere, the success of West Virginia is essential to the presidential victory the Party seeks in November. "The fact is", as Justin might say, that Mr Obama - should he be the nominee - cannot write off this most important segment of the American electorate. If his nomination comes to pass, which despite the pundits and purveyors of opinion, is not a sure thing, then according to Gallup, a majority of Democratic voters want Mrs Clinton as his vice-presidential running mate. Amongst others, see:http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/05/13/majority-of-dems-want-clinton-to-be-vp/Rather than concentrating on Virginia or Colorado, with their 13 and 9 Electoral College votes respectively, Mr Obama would need to curry the favour of Florida with its 27 votes - which, should its delegates not be seated at the Convention, could well vote in substantial numbers for John McCain. Similarly with Michigan (17) - those two would make greater sense. A swing state such as West Virginia could be the difference between victory and defeat. I submit that most voters do not care about "the future" of the Democratic Party but more about a swift and dignified end to the hostilities in Iraq and the declining economy. 18 cents off a gallon of gas/petrol may not sound much to high-flying "egg heads" but for ordinary people commuting 40 and 50 miles a day, as they do here in California, it is not to be sneezed at. The increase in the cost of food - not at your local Whole Foods, but at Kroger, Albertsons or Food 4 Less - is a pressing concern, and those customers vote, as West Virginia has demonstrated all too well. Mrs Clinton does not forget their importance, and neither should anyone else. Wed 14 May 2008 05:09:20 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=2#comment1 Pretty soon we'll see Hillary singing "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "Don't Come Home A Drinkin"at Karaoke bars. Wed 14 May 2008 03:47:32 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/bypassing_west_virginia.html?page=0#comment0 Justin,Thanks for 270towin link. Here's another, and For number-crunchers and prognosticators a very competent site.Or, we can just wait until November and see what happens.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace Namaste -ed Wed 14 May 2008 02:37:40 GMT+1