Bottom Line: Win Boosts Clinton, Math Favors Obama

Despite New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's overwhelming win in Tuesday night's Democratic primary in West Virginia, ABC News' Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos says despite the "big boost" to Clinton's campaign, "it doesn't change the fundamental delegate math" in Sen. Barack Obama's favor.

Referencing the Tuesday's Democratic win in the special election in Mississippi's 1st Congressional district, a longtime Republican stronghold, George also said special elections are sometimes "canaries in the coal mine. A sign of things to come in November."


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ROBIN ROBERTS: : But we begin with a big victory for Senator Hillary Clinton in West Virginia. She won by the widest margin this season so far. But while celebrating, Barack Obama already moved on to Missouri and this morning he's in Michigan. Was last night a game-changer? for the bottom line we turn to Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos. Good morning.


ROBERTS: Does it mean anything?

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's a big boost. Like a shot of red bull to get her through the next couple of weeks. the problem is, it doesn't change the fundamental math. look at these numbers, Robin. There's 2025 delegates needed to get the nomination. Barack Obama hare has 1887. that means he only needs 138 more delegates in these next five contests to become the nominee. at everything at stake he only needs a third of the remaining delegates. Math is still working for him.

ROBERTS: Math is not working for Senator Clinton, but you wouldn't know it by what she said last night. this is what she said in West Virginia.

CLINTON VIDEO: This race isn't over yet, I'll keep coming back and I'll stand with you as long as you stand with me. you will never be counted out and I won't either. you will never quit, and I won't either.

STEPHANOPOULOS: She's running what they call the Eleanor Roosevelt strategy. She's talking to all of the women out there supporting her, saying she's going to stay in the race for them. Part of the rationale for the Clintons, they believe that it will be easier to convince those women to go over and vote for Barack Obama later on if they don't feel Senator Clinton has been pushed out of the process early.

ROBERTS: Speaking about Senator Obama. Take a look at exit poll last night in west Virginia. What stands out for him for you?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Race played more of a factor than any other contest so far. Two out of 10 West Virginia white voters said race was a factor. they went overwhelmingly for Clinton, 8 to 10. Finally, of those people, they said basically they're not going to vote for Barack Obama in the fall. only 3 in 10 will vote for Obama over john McCain. This shows a real problem for Barack Obama. These are Democrats, white working class Democrats who say in a general election 'we'll not go for you'.

ROBERTS: I think folks find it interesting, the headline is not out of West Virginia but out of Mississippi?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Out of your home state. That's right. The Democrats have won their third special election in a row for Congress. There's an open Republican seat in Mississippi, it was won by a Democrat, a Democrat who had ads run against him using Barack Obama. They tried to tie Barack Obama to the Democrat, he won anyway. you see in the last three months. Democrats win in Mississippi, Democrats win a special election in Louisiana. Democrats win the seat of the former Republican Speaker of the House in Illinois and these special elections are usually canaries in the coal mine. A sign of things to come in November. Republicans are worried. Many Democrats look at these numbers -- they're gleeful.

ROBERTS: And it's what people are saying, they want change.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Lots of change and a real tide against the Republican Party.

ROBERTS: We have one more week?

STEPHANOPOULOS: At least one more week.

ROBERTS: Thanks a lot.