Wild & Wonderful

West Virginia Democratic Primary

Polls Open: 6:30 am ET
Polls Close: 7:30 pm ET

Delegates at Stake: 28

Barack Obama is in a commanding position to win the Democratic presidential nod. But he is the underdog in Tuesday's West Virginia primary. The state's gun-owning, church-going, and economically struggling small towns are ripe targets for Hillary Clinton, who has tended to outperform Obama with these groups.

The former first couple has also put in more time on the ground than Obama.

Sen. Clinton has held 14 events and former President Clinton has held 15. By contrast, Sen. Obama has only held three events in the Mountain State.

In the hopes that the media will ignore a big defeat, Obama has worked to downplay expectations.

"She is going to do very well in West Virginia and Kentucky," Obama said Friday in Beaverton, Ore. "She'll win those states, in all likelihood, by significant margins."

The Obama campaign has effectively persuaded the media to focus on May 20 as the date on which the Illinois Democrat is expected to become the pledged delegate majority winner. But the Obama's campaign has not effectively answered why the Illinois Democrat is headed to such a big loss on Tuesday.

Per ABC's Jake Tapper, "If these Democrats vote for Clinton, the presumptive loser, overwhelmingly -- as is predicted -- that indicates a real problem for Obama… [T]omorrow's butt-stomping seems to me like it should merit some serious hand-wringing among Democrats."

For her part, Sen. Clinton has been working to paint her likely victory as a turning point in the race for the Democratic nomination. "It was West Virginia that made it possible for John Kennedy to become president," the former first lady said Monday in Clear Fork, W.Va. "Now John Kennedy didn't have the number of delegates he needed when he went to the convention in 1960; he had something equally as important. He had West Virginia behind him."

Tuesday's primary is open to Democrats and independents who select a Democratic ballot. The deadline to register was April 22.

GOP Plants a Flag in the Mountain State

Although registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans nearly two-to-one in West Virginia, the state hasn't gone to the Democrats in the past two presidential elections. On Monday, the RNC put West Virginia Republicans on the phone with reporters to hammer Obama.

"I'm quite concerned about a lot of his positions on the 2nd Amendment," said Ron Stone, Mayor of Winfield, W Va.

Jim Addy, the mayor of Harpers Ferry, painted Obama as weak and waffling, attacking him for "voting present when he has to make a critical decision."

Donnie Tenney, the Upshur County Commissioner, accused Obama of being disingenuous on coal.

Tenney said that although Obama talks about supporting clean coal, "he panders to the environmentalists that he has a totally different point of view."

(Whenever Obama travels to a coal state, the RNC loves to circulate a clip of Obama telling the San Antonio Express-News, "What we ought to tax is dirty energy, like coal and, to a lesser extent, natural gas.")

Obama Looks to November:

Although Obama is headed towards a shellacking in West Virginia, his campaign is already looking towards November.

On Tuesday, Obama heads to Rush Limbaugh's hometown of Cape Girardeau, Mo., a state which President Bush won twice that the Democrats would like to put in play in the fall. As part of this strategic shift, Sen. Barack Obama will also make stops in Michigan on Wednesday and in Florida next week -- the first time the Illinois Democrat has campaigned in either state due to the pledge he signed with the traditional early nominating states not to campaign in the states which violated party rules and scheduled contests before Feb. 5.

'Half in Ten':

On Tuesday, former North Carolina Senator John Edwards will announce his acceptance of the leader of a new antipoverty initiative called "Half in Ten", which has the goal of cutting poverty in the United States in half in the next ten years. The campaign is a partnership of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Association of Community Organization for Reform Law and the Coalition on Human Needs.

The kicker:

""Look at that, that's the sign of a misspent youth right there. I have to say I wasn't doing wholesome things like bowling"

--Barack Obama after making a shot at "Schultzie's Billiards" in South Carleston, W Va., where he played pool with a a 24-year old Iraq vet.

On the campaign front. . .


-- Attends discussion on health care with nurses, Lexington, KY

-- Attends to Senate duties, Washington, DC

-- Attends event in Cape Girardeau, MO


-- 7:30 pm ET: Attends election night event with voters, Charleston, WV


-- 9:30 am ET: Delivers announcement for new antipoverty campaign "Half in Ten", Philadelphia, PA

As for the Republicans. . .


-- 2:30 pm ET: Attends environmental roundtable with voters, North Bend, WA

At the White House and Beyond. . .


-- Departs Washington, DC for the Mideast


-- 8:30 am ET: Releases the April report on retail sales, Washington, DC

-- 10:00 am ET: Releases the March report on business inventories, Washington, DC


ABC News' Gary Langer: Bush Hits New Low as 'Wrong Track' Rises LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Dems to Clinton: Don't Say Anything to Hurt Us LINK

ABC News' Ron Claiborne: McCain Breaks Sharply from Bush on Environment LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Burma, Baby, Burma LINK

ABC News' Kate Snow: Sign of the Times? Clinton at Half Price LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama's Inability to Hire Good Help Rears Its Head. . . Again LINK

ABC News' Lindsey Ellerson: Celebrities Turn a Critic's Eye to Selecting New Obama Ad LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton Loosely Compares Her White House Fight to JFK's Campaign LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Hillary's New Internet Video LINK

ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama Downplays Expectation in Wva. LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Why Shouldn't Obama Win West Virginia? LINK

ABC News' Ann Compton: Laura Bush Dishes Wedding Details LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Huckabee on Novak's Column: "It's Total and Absolute Nonsense" LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton: W. Va. Will Be Turning Point in Race LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: McCain Campaign v Newsweek LINK

ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama Looks Ahead to the General Election LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Pro-Clinton Unions Continue Full-Steam Ahead LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Coates: "The Myth of the Black Racist Voter" LINK


Inside the Presidential Campaigns
Observations from reporters assigned to the candidates. LINK

Clinton Keeps Fighting
The New York senator is expected to win West Virginia's primary. LINK

A First Wedding
Jenna Bush and Henry Hager tie the knot in a low key but elegant ceremony. LINK

How Long Will She Last?
While McCain and Obama plan for the fall, the Clinton campaign fights on. LINK

Are Clinton's Comments Racist?
The ladies discuss how the media have made this election about race LINK

The Wedding Album
A sneak peak at Jenna Bush's private wedding. LINK

Reid Positive About Democratic Campaign
Sen. Harry Reid says Democratic party should "relax." LINK

McCain Surrogate Stresses Innovation
Carly Fiorina discusses Sen. John McCain's platform. LINK

Roundtable: The Electoral Game
George Will, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson and Ruth Marcus. LINK

Will's Mama Would Love Obama
Behind the scenes with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson and Ruth Marcus. LINK