Hillary Clinton wins West Virginia, won’t quit race (Second Lead)

May 14th, 2008 - 11:15 am ICT by admin  

Washington, May 14 (DPA) Senator Hillary Clinton claimed victory in the Democratic Party’s West Virginia presidential primary at a televised rally following the close of polls. “I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had a chance … to be heard,” Clinton said Tuesday, pumping her supporters for more money to keep her campaign alive.

With 68 percent of polling stations reporting, the former first lady had 66 percent of the vote compared to 27 percent for rival Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Clinton’s pre-victory speech was upbeat and conciliatory, and she commended rival Democratic candidate Obama.

“I believe that this campaign has been good for the Democratic Party and good for our country,” Clinton said. “People are discussing and debating issues. They are turning out in record numbers to register and to vote. There is an excitement about politics that is the lifeblood of our democracy.”

Major television networks had predicted a Clinton victory immediately after voting stations closed Tuesday evening.

Clinton closely trails Obama in delegates won for the Democratic presidential nominating convention in August. Despite the narrow margin, her campaign has been declared all but hopeless by most of the national media, with only a handful of small states yet to vote in the intra-party contest.

Clinton argued Tuesday night that contested primary states, Florida and Michigan, should see their votes counted. The states voted in January, too early under national party rules, leading to the loss of their convention delegates.

“Some said our campaign was over after Iowa, but then we won New Hampshire. Then we had big victories on Super Tuesday and in Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania. And, of course, we came from behind to win in Indiana,” Clinton reminded primary voters.

“So, this race isn’t over yet. Neither of us has the total delegates it takes to win. And both Senator Obama and I believe that the delegates from Florida and Michigan should be seated.”

Clinton’s campaign was banking on a strong win in West Virginia to revive her fortunes and convince party leaders that the New York senator is best positioned to reach a broad coalition of voters for the Nov 4 general election.

Only 28 delegates are up for grabs in West Virginia. Without the inclusion of Florida and Michigan, no realistic scenario exists for Clinton to catch Obama in pledged delegates awarded by voters.

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