Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 10:50 UK

Clinton fights on after victory

Hillary Clinton addresses a victory rally in Charleston, West Virginia, 13 May 2008
Mrs Clinton said she was determined to carry on campaigning

Hillary Clinton has said the race to be the Democratic presidential nominee is not over, after beating Barack Obama heavily in West Virginia's primary.

Mr Obama remains the frontrunner in the overall contest to become the party's nominee, with more support and cash.

Correspondents say Mrs Clinton's big win in West Virginia will do little to alter the race.

The New York senator took 67% of the vote to Mr Obama's 26%, in what is a largely white, blue-collar state.

The result, one of Mr Obama's biggest defeats, may raise questions about his ability to win over the white, working-class voters who will play a key role in November's general election.

But Mr Obama has maintained his advantage in terms of the delegates who will choose the party's nominee at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had a chance to make their voices heard
Hillary Clinton

The Illinois senator currently has 1,883 delegates and Mrs Clinton 1,717, according to the Associated Press tally on Wednesday.

His lead has been swelled by the endorsement of an additional 30 super-delegates - party and elected officials - in the past week, the AP said.

However, at a victory rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Mrs Clinton made it clear that she had no intention of dropping out of the race.

"There are some who have wanted to cut this race short. But here in West Virginia, you know a thing or two about rough roads to the top of the mountain," she said.

"I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had a chance to make their voices heard... This race isn't over yet."

A defiant Hillary Clinton works the crowd

In what seemed to be an appeal to the remaining undecided superdelegates, she added: "The White House is won in the swing states, and I am winning the swing states."

However, Mrs Clinton's urgent need to raise campaign funds was highlighted when she sent supporters an appeal for more donations within an hour of the polls closing.

Mr Obama's only public appearance on Tuesday evening was in Missouri, a state that has already held its Democratic primary but which will be a key battleground in the presidential election in November.

Speaking at a factory, Mr Obama made no reference to the West Virginia contest, and focused almost all of his remarks on Mr McCain.

A campaign spokesman said that Mr Obama had called Mrs Clinton to congratulate her on her West Virginia win, but was only able to leave a message.

Race question

Ahead of the vote it was clear that West Virginia's demographics were in Mrs Clinton's favour, with a population that is 95% white, largely blue collar and culturally conservative.

West Virginia
Senator Clinton 67%
Senator Obama 26%
Figures from AP

Tuesday's exit polls indicated that Mrs Clinton had maintained the strength she has shown with these groups in previous primaries.

White voters without college degrees - who made up two-thirds of the electorate - backed Mrs Clinton three to one, according to surveys conducted by the AP news agency.

West Virginians' attitudes to race may also have helped Mrs Clinton, the surveys suggested.

Of the 20% of voters who said that race had influenced their choice - one of the highest proportions so far during the primaries - 80% supported the New York senator.

Overall, Mr Obama gained 28% of the white vote in the state to 68% for Mrs Clinton, according to exit polls.

She also led Mr Obama among groups who have tended to back him in previous contests, including voters under 30, college graduates and independents.

Shifting focus

Only five contests remain before the Democratic Party officially declares at its August convention who will take on presumptive Republican candidate John McCain in November.

Barack Obama campaign in Missouri, 13 May 2008
Mr Obama has been campaigning in swing states like Missouri

The next votes will be in Oregon and Kentucky on 20 May, followed by Puerto Rico on 1 June and Montana and South Dakota on 3 June.

Although he has events scheduled in South Dakota and Oregon, Mr Obama appears largely to have switched his focus to a potential general election campaign against Mr McCain.

On Wednesday he will campaign in Michigan - expected to be a battleground state in November - to be followed later this month by stops in Florida.

In Nebraska, both parties held primary elections to choose their nominee to compete in November for the Senate seat of retiring two-term Republican Chuck Hagel.

A Republican presidential primary there was won by Mr McCain, who is already the effective nominee. Nebraska's Democrats held their presidential caucus on 9 February.

In Mississippi, Democrat Travis Childers won a special election to fill a seat left vacant by an outgoing Republican.

His success suggested that Republican attempts to link Mr Childers with Barack Obama had not damaged his prospects, observers said.

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