8:50 pm ET: With 4% of the total votes in:
— Hillary Clinton 58%
— Barack Obama 36%
9:00 pm ET — 9% of the total votes in:
— Hillary Clinton 60%
— Barack Obama 34%
9:20 pm ET — 20% of the total votes in:
— Hillary Clinton 63%
— Barack Obama 30%
UPDATE: Clinton just made an overt plea to the superdelegates to hold off on making any hasty decisions in her acceptance speech, without actually saying the word "superdelegates."
9:40 pm ET — 30% of the total votes in:
— Hillary Clinton 64%
— Barack Obama 29%
All the cable networks — CNN, MSNBC, and FOX — just called the WV primary for Hillary Clinton. While this falls under the heading of "didn’t we expect this to happen?", the big question of the evening will be "by how much?" Because that will answer the division of the 28 pledged delegates up for grabs tonight.
MSNBC is predicting a 2 to 1 split — meaning Clinton would get 19-ish delegates and Obama would get 9-ish, give or take while we wait for real, honest-to-god results that aren’t just based on exit polls. And Chuck Todd says that Obama only has to get 23 percent in either KY or OR to clinch the delegate requirement — he says that Clinton would have to pull off a close to 91% victory margin in every remaining state in order to win, which is most likely impossible.
The answer to the even bigger question? She likes butter pecan and espresso oreo ice cream. (You have to love local coverage, don’t you?)
Polls closed here in WV at 7:30 pm ET, so it will be a little while before all the ballots are tallied in all the counties. A few areas of the state experienced some power issues due to a large amount of rain and some windstorms over the last few days causing outages and flooding — but generators were brought in and as far as I’ve been able to ascertain today everything went smoothly with very few hiccups statewide. While we’re waiting for solid numbers not just based on exit polls and early voting ballot counts, here’s a funky story about the CNN election central bus.
And rwcole found some exit poll data as well. Intriguing stuff.
However, it looks like WV Democratic party leadership is already looking past their commitments to Sen. Clinton. If Gov. Manchin’s invitation to Sen. Obama to attend a long-planned Clinton rally in heavily Clinton-voting territory isn’t a huge signal, I don’t know what is. (Of course, knowing our Governor, it could also be a signal that he’s going courting for a Cabinet nod…but maybe that’s just me.) Hell, Carville’s already started talking party unity and writing out a check for the Obama campaign…way to piddle on the Clinton parade today, James.
Meanwhile, it’s on to the next set of primaries. And the continuing saga of questions raised by anonymous e-mail spammers taken seriously by uncritical readers. The stupid…it burns.