2008_05_hillarywv.jpgHilary Clinton won tonight's West Virginia primary with about 66% of the vote, handily defeating Barack Obama (he had 27%) as expected. The NY Times reported "racial considerations emerged as an unusually salient factor as Mrs. Clinton drew strong support from white, working-class voters who have spurned Mr. Obama in recent contests." Interesting note: John Edwards, who exited the Democratic presidential race a while ago, got about 7% of the vote.

To a crowd in Charleston, W.V., Clinton indicated she was ignoring calls to drop out, "I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign. I am in this race because I believe I am the strongest candidate. ... I can lead this party to victory in the general election if you lead me to victory now."

While Clinton's win is considered symbolic, the AP notes how Obama's loss "underscored his weakness among blue collar voters who will be pivotal in the fall." West Virginia exit polling indicated many Democrats would vote for McCain, instead of Obama, in an general election.

Obama, who was in Missouri today, said, "This is our chance to build a new majority of Democrats and independents and Republicans who know that four more years of George Bush just won't do. This is our moment to turn the page on the divisions and distractions that pass for politics in Washington."

Photograph of a victorious Clinton in West Virginia by Steven Helber/AP