CNN Touts West Virginian Democrats Who Choose Trump Over Hillary

Thursday night on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, the host and correspondent Gary Tuchman surprisingly highlighted how poorly Clinton was faring with blue-collar Democrats in West Virginia. Tuchman noted that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 6 to 1 in the coal mining state, but because of Clinton’s attitude towards the coal industry, many Democrat voters were actually supporting Donald Trump instead of their party’s presumptive nominee.

The segment opened with Cooper playing Clinton’s comments in March about shutting down the coal industry, cutting to Tuchman noting that coal mines open in West Virginia were “a small fraction” of what they used to be.

Tuchman, talking to one frustrated voter, noted that voters there believed the Democrats were waging “a war on coal.” First from the Obama Administration, and now under threat from Hillary Clinton, particularly after her anti-coal comments last March. Comments which drove Democrats there to “cross party lines.”

TUCHMAN: What's notable that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 6 to 1. Anger toward Clinton is crossing party lines and increasing because of what she recently declared about the mining industry.

Tuchman then interviewed several West Virginia Democrats about what they thought about Hillary Clinton and who they were voting for. Tuchman noted that “it was not easy” to find anyone on camera who said they were voting for Clinton.

VOTER: She meant what she said the first time about getting rid of the coal jobs, shutting down the industry and all that.

TUCHMAN: She said she misspoke and apologized.

VOTER: She's a politician. What do you expect her to say, you know.

See the full transcript from Anderson Cooper 360 May 5.

ANDERSON COOPER: West Virginia has a primary Tuesday. Clinton won by a huge margin in 2008, this time she's trailing Bernie Sanders, partly because of these remarks in March.

HILLARY CLINTON:  I'm the only politician with a policy how to bring economic opportunity, using clean renewable energy as a key in coal country because we are going to put a lot of coal miners and companies out of business.

COOPER: She apologized and her comments could hurt her in the general election. Gary Tuchman reports.

TUCHMAN: The coal mines that remain open in West Virginia are a small fraction of what used to be open. Thousands of jobs have been lost. Atkins is the county administrator.

VOTER:  I think we are under attack.

TUCHMAN: It is a war on coal, he believes. The attacker, the white house. We found not far behind on the enemy list here is Hillary Clinton.

VOTER:  I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. Shame on Hillary Clinton.

TUCHMAN: What's notable that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 6 to 1. Anger toward Clinton is crossing party lines and increasing because of what she recently declared about the mining industry.

VOTER: She meant what she said the first time about getting rid of the coal jobs, shutting down the industry and all that.

TUCHMAN: She said she misspoke and apologized.

VOTER: She's a politician. What do you expect her to say, you know.

TUCHMAN:  Who will you be voting for?

VOTER: Trump.

TUCHMAN: Even before Hillary Clinton made that statement, she faced an uphill battle here. The Republican candidate won the last four general elections in West Virginia. The last Democrat to win was 20 years ago and that was Hillary Clinton's husband. Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife this past Sunday in Logan county and had his share of protesters show up. We interviewed about 20 registered voters.

TUCHMAN: In November if it is Trump and Clinton, who will you vote for?

VOTER:  Trump.

TUCHMAN: Almost all voters, registered Democrats. This man, another laid off coal miner.

VOTER: I am not voting Democrat when I can vote for a president.

TUCHMAN: You're voting for?

VOTER: Trump.

TUCHMAN: Going for the Democrat in November for president?

VOTER: Not this election.

TUCHMAN: Voting trump?

VOTER: Yeah.

TUCHMAN: How come?

VOTER:  I think he's better off for coal fields.

TUCHMAN:  Debbie Thompson is a registered Democrat.

TUCHMAN:  Who do you support for president?

VOTER:  Trump.

TUCHMAN: He is not a Democrat.

VOTER:  He is for coal mining, here people live on coal mining.

TUCHMAN: It was not easy to randomly find people that want Hillary Clinton for president. But we kept looking.

TUCHMAN: Who are you supporting.

VOTER: Hillary Clinton.

TUCHMAN:  There are a lot of people that are Democrats tell us Donald Trump.

VOTER: I know.

TUCHMAN:  You know those people.

VOTER: Yeah.

TUCHMAN: Why do you want Hillary Clinton?

VOTER:  I think she will get the job done for us, for the country.

TUCHMAN: Why don't you like Donald Trump?

VOTER: I think he is going to make a big mess.

TUCHMAN: That seems to be a minority opinion in what doesn't feel like a majority democratic county.

COOPER:  It is obviously a big vulnerability in West Virginia for Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump brought up coal mining in his rally there and brought it up in his victory speech on the night of Indiana.

TUCHMAN: That's right, Anderson Donald Trump said he will bring the mines back, if he’s elected president. He said he’ll get rid of and regulations that make it difficult to compete. He offered his opinion about Hillary Clinton’s statement saying, she was telling the truth.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Economy Coal Industry CNN Anderson Cooper 360
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