EXIT POLLS: The Race Factor in West Virginia

Working-class whites have been among Clinton's best groups; she has won less-educated white voters, for example, by a 2-1 margin in previous primaries to date.

Clinton won all West Virginia whites by a wide margin, 69-23 percent, but not a bigger one than she has seen in some previous primaries, particularly Southern ones. She won whites by 79-16 percent in Arkansas, 72-25 percent in Alabama, 70-26 percent in Mississippi and 67-26 percent in Tennessee. (She also won whites by a like margin, 66-31 percent, in New Jersey.)

Clinton's husband may have helped: Sixty-two percent said his campaigning in the state was at least somewhat important in their vote, and they favored her over Obama by a 80-15 percent margin.

However, the large number of early deciders make that look more like a general pro-Clinton comment than a true measure of vote influence.

In North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana, the other Democratic primaries in which Obama-McCain matchups have been asked, 74, 73 and 71 percent, respectively, said they would support Obama as the nominee; as noted, just under half said so in West Virginia.

Similarly, among Clinton supporters in those states, 47, 54 and 49 percent said they'd back Obama as the nominee, compared with 38 percent here.

Pain at the Pump Resonates at the Polls

Finally, West Virginia voters by 64-33 percent favored the idea of suspending the federal gasoline tax, an idea backed by Clinton and opposed by Obama.

In a national ABC News/Washington Post poll this week, Americans divided evenly on the proposal; among Democrats, most Clinton supporters favored it, while most Obama supporters were opposed.

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