His favored presidential candidate didn't make much of an impression in West Virginia, but Sen. Jay Rockefeller still won an easy victory in the Democratic primary.
"Ever since I came to West Virginia in 1964, I found out who I was and what I really wanted to do with my life,'' Rockefeller said.
With 49 percent of the vote in, Rockefeller was leading with 77 percent.
During the campaign, Rockefeller took heat from one opponent over his endorsement of Barack Obama, who was trounced in the Mountain State primary today by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"When I came to West Virginia, it took people a while to accept me,'' Rockefeller said. "Barack is new to West Virginia, and the Clintons are not new to West Virginia.''
While Clinton and her family have crisscrossed West Virginia in recent days in an effort to confirm pre-election polls that show her with at least a 30-point lead, Obama made two campaign stops to the state, the most recent on Monday.
That didn't help his chances; The Associated Press declared Clinton the winner virtually as soon as polls closed at 7:30 p.m., based on exit polling data that showed her with a huge lead over Obama.
Rockefeller had two challengers -- former state Republican lawmaker Sheirl Fletcher and state Division of Motor Vehicles employee Billy Hendricks Jr.
Fletcher, a Morgantown resident who switched parties after 2002, wrapped Rockefeller over his support for Obama, saying it showed the former governor was out of touch with West Virginians.
Hendricks, of Whitesville, didn't expect to win, but wanted to draw attention to the federal deficit and the need for term limits. Hendricks ran an unsuccessful primary campaign against Byrd in 2006.
Rockefeller's win means he will have a rematch with Republican Jay Wolfe in November. Rockefeller defeated Wolfe in 2002 by a nearly 2-1 vote.