2016 West Virginia Democratic primary

The 2016 West Virginia Democratic primary was held on May 10 in the U.S. state of West Virginia as one of the Democratic Party's primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

West Virginia Democratic primary, 2016

← 2012 May 10, 2016 (2016-05-10) 2020 →
  Bernie Sanders September 2015 cropped.jpg Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Candidate Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton Paul T. Farrell Jr.
Home state Vermont New York West Virginia
Delegate count 18 11 0
Popular vote 124,700 86,914 21,694
Percentage 51.41% 35.84% 8.94%

West Virginia Democratic Presidential Primary Election Results by County, 2016.svg
Election results by county.
  Bernie Sanders
Results by county of Paul T. Farrell, Jr.

The Republican Party held primaries in two states, including their own West Virginia primary, while for the Democratic Party this was the only primary on that day.

Opinion pollingEdit


West Virginia Democratic primary, May 10, 2016
Candidate Popular vote Delegates
Count Percentage Pledged Unpledged Total
Hillary Clinton 86,914 35.84% 11 8 19
Bernie Sanders 124,700 51.41% 18 18
Paul T. Farrell Jr. 21,694 8.94%
Keith Judd 4,460 1.84%
Martin O'Malley (withdrawn) 3,796 1.57%
Rocky De La Fuente 975 0.40%
Uncommitted N/A 0 0 0
Total 242,539 100% 29 8 37
Source: The Green Papers, West Virginia Secretary of State


Although West Virginia had breathed new life into Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign eight years earlier, it failed to deliver for Clinton's front-running campaign in 2016. Clinton lost every county in the state to Bernie Sanders.

Sanders's West Virginia victory came from strong support among workers in the coal industry; fifty-five percent of West Virginia's Democratic voters with coal workers in their households voted for Sanders, while only 29 percent voted for Clinton.[9] His easy win was likely fueled by Clinton's comments in March about coal, "We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."[10]

Analysts speculate Sanders's win in West Virginia came not from support for his own coal policies, but from a rejection of the Obama administration's.[11] Sanders was also helped by large numbers of Republican cross-over voters. Thirty-nine percent of Sanders voters stated they planned to vote for Donald Trump over Sanders in the November general election.[12]

Despite Sanders's win in all counties in the primary, all eight unpledged delegates voted for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, meaning the West Virginia delegation voted for Clinton over Sanders by one.[13]


  1. ^ "Overwhelming support for Trump, small lead for Sanders in MetroNews West Virginia Poll". MetroNews. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Trump, Sanders lead in West Virginia (april 2016)" (PDF). Scribd. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  3. ^ "WV-Gov Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies for West Virginia Veterans (March 2016)". Scribd. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Poll: WV prefers GOP for president, Democrat for governor". wvgazettemail.com. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  5. ^ "Trump and Sanders Have Big Leads in MetroNews West Virginia Poll" (PDF). wvmetronews.com. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  6. ^ "Survey: WV residents likely to pick Trump over Clinton in 2016". Statejournal.com. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  7. ^ "Trump leads Republican field and Clinton in West Virginia, according to new Orion Strategies statewide poll". prnewswire.com. 26 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Poll: Democrats running for WV gov locked in dead heat". Wvgazettemail.com/. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  9. ^ "How Anti-Coal Bernie Sanders Won Coal Country". 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  10. ^ "How Anti-Coal Bernie Sanders Won Coal Country". 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  11. ^ "How Anti-Coal Bernie Sanders Won Coal Country". 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  12. ^ "Donald Trump Supporters Boost Bernie Sanders in West Virginia". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  13. ^ Desrochers, Daniel (2016-07-27). "WV delegation at DNC votes for Clinton over Sanders by 1". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved 2018-09-22.