Global: For Clinton, a new mandate from the ‘Mountain State'?

For those of you who weren’t aware, West Virginia, the 41st-largest state in the United States, broke away from much larger Virginia in 1861, during the U.S. Civil War. It was in the mountain state Tuesday night, where West Virginia’s voters overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton 67 to 26 per cent over Democratic front-runner Barack Obama.

Obama only made one campaign stop in West Virginia, instead concentrating on November’s general election against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. However, the size of Clinton’s victory led some analysts to believe that the her campaign for the Democratic nomination is far from finished. “This race isn't over yet. Neither of us has the total delegates it takes to win,” Clinton told supporters. “I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had a chance to make their voices heard.”

MSNBC affirms that Obama has 1,880 delegates while Clinton's has earned 1,718, with six more delegates to be awarded in West Virginia. With five state primaries remaining before June 3, Obama needs 145 delegates to reach the 2,025 line needed to clinch the nomination. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Thus, both candidates must rely on the support of more than 800 Superdelegates – party insiders and elected officials – to secure the Democratic nomination. It is believed Obama has a lead in Superdelegates.

It was just one week ago that it seemed Obama’s nomination was all but a foregone conclusion. After West Virginia, however, bloggers, like most others, are torn on what Clinton’s victory means to the future of the Democratic nomination. According to the Gay Patriot, “the internet home for the American gay conservative,” Clinton’s victory should mean a lot for Democrats: Just because political pundits claim an Obama candidacy doesn’t mean it to be true. On the other hand, Mash from Bangladesh but living in the U.S., points out in Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying that voter turnout in West Virginia was much lower than expected, thus lessening the blow of Clinton’s victory. The EU-Post predicts Clinton’s large victory should be a worrying sign for Obama, who still cannot attract blue-collar voters and the support of lower-income Americans.

Andrew Malcolm, blogging at the Los Angeles Times, reminds us that the Republican race is still ongoing, even though McCain is assured the nomination. The big loser in West Virginia was Ron Paul, McCain’s last remaining Republican challenger, who garnered only five percent of the vote. He was beaten by Mike Huckabee, who pulled out of the race weeks ago. Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, two well-funded Republicans no longer campaigning for President, nearly beat Paul.

Looking over national polling data, Jeff Weintraub, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Haifa in Israel, points out that Clinton is more popular among Jewish voters than Obama; however, the Illinois Senator outpolls Republican John McCain.

For some bloggers, calls continue for Clinton to drop out of the race in show of unity. In Contextual Musings, David, a Arab-American academic with “Eurocentric yet Asian inspired tendencies,” compares Clinton’s victory speech to Bush’s attempt after the 2000 presidential election to claim a mandate when he lost the popular and the Supreme Court handed him a victory. In Politics Across the Pond, Crain calls on Clinton fans to united behind Obama and to focus on John McCain and the November election.

The View from the Other Side, a South African living in Silicon Valley, California, takes conservative Christians to task for ignoring the issues and their “despicable” and “unchristian” attacks on Obama.

Looking forward, Joe Joseph from The Times in London, declares that if Obama is beaten by McCain this fall, Hillary should be a frontrunner for 2012, when she’ll be 64. Jonathan Steele in Comment is Free in the Guardian argues that Obama’s ideas about the Middle East are simply “business as usual” to really provide the revolution in U.S. foreign policy he’s promised. The Angry African, who’s been through a real electoral revolution in South Africa, reminds doom saying Americans that come November it won’t be the end of the world, no matter who wins the U.S. Presidency.

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