BOSTON, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although Barack Obama is the
likely Democratic nominee, West Virginia Democratic voters are marching to
a different drummer, as Hillary Clinton leads Obama by 36 points among
likely Democratic voters, according to a poll released today by Suffolk
Sixty percent of voters polled preferred Clinton to Obama (24 percent).
John Edwards, whose name remains on all West Virginia ballots, polled 4
percent, while 2 percent had no preference; 8 percent were undecided; and 2
percent refused a response.
Respondents said Clinton should stay in the primary fight and that she
is not hurting the Democratic Party by staying in the race. Sixty-seven
percent of likely Democratic voters said Clinton should stay in the race,
regardless of what happens on Tuesday, and 24 percent said she should get
out. Seventy-two percent said she is not hurting the Democratic Party by
running in the remaining primaries, while 20 percent said she is doing the
Obama's favorability (44 percent favorable -- 41 percent unfavorable)
was relatively low, compared to Clinton (70 percent favorable -- 21 percent
West Virginia has voted Democratic in eight of the last 12 general
elections, dating back to 1960, but these findings could indicate
difficulties for Obama in 2008.
"Barack Obama may have to write off West Virginia come November," said
David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research
Center. "In 2000, Al Gore won seventy-two percent of West Virginia
Democratic Primary voters and lost the state's general election to George
Bush by six percent; in 2004, John Kerry won sixty-nine percent of West
Virginia Democratic Primary voters and lost the state's general election to
George Bush by thirteen percent. If Barack Obama can't even garner thirty
percent of West Virginia Democratic Primary voters, what does that say
about the West Virginia general election?"
West Virginia Democratic voters' party loyalty also is fragile. Asked
what they would do if their first choice for the Democratic nomination
lost, 40 percent of respondents said they would still vote for the
Democratic nominee; 23 percent said they would jump parties and vote for
Republican John McCain; 6 percent would vote for independent candidate
Ralph Nader; 30 percent were undecided; while 2 percent refused a response.
West Virginia Democratic voters appeared to be in denial about the
delegate projections. Asked who would be the next president, regardless of
whom they personally supported, 31 percent said Clinton; 27 percent, Obama;
26 percent, McCain; and 11 percent were undecided.
In other Suffolk University findings, 51 percent of those surveyed said
that Obama could beat McCain in the general election, while 29 percent said
he could not, and 20 percent were undecided.
The Suffolk University bellwether of Mason County, which was a
sister-test to the statewide survey, also showed a commanding Clinton lead
of 65 percent, with Obama at 16 percent; Edwards, 3 percent; no preference,
2 percent; 10 percent undecided, and 5 percent refused a response. The
Mason County, West Virginia, Primary returns have been in the correct order
and within 5 percent of the actual statewide Primary results from both
parties in years where an incumbent U.S. president has not been on the
The Suffolk University poll was conducted May 10 and May 11, 2008. The
margin of error on the statewide survey of 600 is +/- 4.00 percent at a 95
percent level of confidence. All respondents from the statewide survey were
likely voters in the May 13 West Virginia Democratic Presidential Primary.
Marginals and 110 pages of cross-tabulation data will be posted on the
Suffolk University Web site -- www.suffolk.edu/ -- on May 12.
The Suffolk University election predictor bellwether ID sister-test
(400 contacts) was made May 10. There was an equal probability of
contacting and interviewing registered voters of all party affiliations,
provided that they identified themselves as likely to take a Democratic
ballot on Tuesday. For more information, contact David Paleologos at
Suffolk University, located on Boston's historic Beacon Hill, with
campuses in Madrid and Dakar, Senegal, (Africa) is a comprehensive global
institution distinguished by its teaching and the intellectual
contributions of its faculty. Suffolk offers a wide range of undergraduate
and graduate programs in more than 70 areas of study. Its mission is to
provide quality education at a reasonable cost for students of all ages and
backgrounds, with strong emphasis on diversity. Suffolk University has a
combined enrollment of more than 9,300 full-time and part-time students at
its Law School, College of Arts and Sciences, and Sawyer Business School.
SOURCE Suffolk University