West Virginia is a state that appears built to accentuate Sen Hillary Clinton's strengths and to highlight the weaknesses her campaign asserts would make Sen. Barack Obama a more vulnerable Democratic nominee.

In those states, Clinton enjoyed a significant advantage among white voters; West Virginia is 95 percent white.

TRANSLATION: White people are voting for the white girl.

was much stronger among voters over the age of 65

TRANSLATION: Old white people aren't voting for the black man.

Clinton tends to do well with voters on the lower end of the income and education scales. Census Bureau and other government data show nearly 18 percent of West Virginians live below the poverty line and roughly 74 percent of the state's population makes less than $50,000 a year. Put another way, West Virginia ranked 50th among the states in household income and 48th in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma.

TRANSLATION: Clinton does well with dumb white people.

On the other hand, some leading Democrats believe Clinton's biggest strategic hope in West Virginia and the following week in Kentucky is overwhelming support among white voters. That, they say, would boost an argument some of her supporters now make privately: that Obama would take a dramatic step toward solving his biggest electoral weakness if he tapped Clinton as his running mate.

TRANSLATION: The Clinton supporters want her on the ticket because of the white voters because they Democratic party is very racially motivated. Even though Obama can't stand Senator Rodham he has to play ball.

he population of Maryland is nearly 28 percent African-American, and in Virginia the percentage of African-Americans is 19 percent. And in West Virginia? Barely 3 percent.

TRANSLATION: No black people to vote for Obama so he can't win this state because the Democratic primaries are divided mainly by race.