Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE's campaign gaffe about putting coal miners out of work likely hurt her badly in West Virginia, a primary she lost to Bernie SandersBernie SandersManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Sanders calls deadly Afghan drone strike 'unacceptable' MORE on Tuesday.
More than 60 percent of voters in West Virginia's Democratic presidential primary who identified themselves as belonging to coal miner households voted for Sanders, according to MSNBC exit polls.
Just 30 percent of coal miner households voted for Clinton in West Virginia's Democratic primary.
It's a big slide for the former first lady, who won the state by a huge margin over Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward MORE in the 2008 presidential primaries. But she seems to have lost a good deal of affection among the state's white working-class voters.
West Virginia has deep economic and psychological ties to the coal industry, and Clinton didn't help herself when she said earlier this year, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
She tried to repair her mistake, saying her comments had been taken out of context given that she is determined to help coal workers who lose their jobs as the economy rapidly modernizes. Clinton used her $30 billion government bailout to help coal miners and their families deal with the fallout from the U.S. economy’s transition toward renewable energy sources.
And at a West Virginia event last week, Clinton apologized to an unemployed coal worker who emotionally pressed her about how she can come to his state and make nice with the voters after previously speaking so dismissively about the coal industry.
Going by the MSNBC exit polls, West Virginia Democrats weren't buying Clinton's coal pitch.