US Democrats vote in West Virginia

Voting under way in primary with Clinton struggling to stay in presidential race.

    Clinton insists she can turn the tide and win the Democractic nomination [AFP]

    Clinton has an advantage of at least 20 points in most opinion polls in West Virginia.
     
    Clinton admirers
     
    While prominent Democrats and experts have all but written off Clinton's prospects of overcoming her rival Obama's lead in the race, the faith of her supporters remains steadfast and they insist Clinton could emerge a victor.
     
    "I believe anything is possible," a Clinton admirer said.
     
    "I've been for Hillary Clinton before there ever was an Obama. I think it's time women be given a chance."
     
    "I think Hillary still has a shot," Jim Tate, 61, a Vietnam veteran said. 
     

    Obama is ahead in the race for the
    Democratic nomination [AFP]

     
    With Clinton expected to roll up big wins in contests in West Virginia and Kentucky, combined with her previous victories in large, pivotal states, he said the race would be too close to call when the party convenes in August.
     
    "She could walk into that convention about 90 delegates behind Obama. So is it over with? No, I just don't think it's over with. I think the American people are taking a step back," said Tate.
     
    Obama remained a bit of an unknown quantity, Dot Mills, 73, a Clinton supporter said.
     
    "She's the flower and he's the bud. You don't know how the bud is going to turn out," she said.
     
    Negative campaign
     
    The New York Times, which initially endorsed Clinton, said in an editorial that "Clinton will be making a terrible mistake for herself, her party and for the nation if she continues to press her candidacy through negative campaigning with disturbing racial undertones".
     
    The US primaries have turned into the Democratic party's longest nomination campaign.
     
    Clinton's refusal to 'exit gracefully' is being heavily criticised, especially since Obama leads in pledged delegates and the popular vote.
     
    However, Clinton has vowed to keep fighting despite a mounting campaign debt.
     
    "I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't believe that I could be the best president for West Virginia and America and that I was the stronger candidate to take on John McCain in the fall," she said at a rally in Logan, West Virginia on Monday.
     
    Obama made a brief appearance in West Virginia on Monday and announced plans to visit the upcoming general election battlegrounds of Missouri, Michigan and Florida.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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