Saturday, January 17, 2009

Obama was candidate of hope for poor, rural and overwhelmingly white county in Appalachia

Last night, we posted an item on a Washington Post story that used one Arkansas county as an example of rural Americans' wariness of President-elect Barack Obama. This morning, the Lexington Herald-Leader offers the other side, a story about of the few rural counties in Kentucky that voted for a decidedly urban president.

"Menifee County residents invest a particular set of expectations in the president-elect," Cheryl Truman writes. "Here, hope is not just a vague kind of happy idea about how life will be after Obama's inauguration, but instead quite specific: Bring us some kind of jobs, voters say. Free us from the unfunded tyranny of the federally mandated No Child Left Behind. Show us that rural doesn't mean poor, and disenfranchised, and hopeless." (Encarta map)

The 98 percent white county in the Appalachian foothills, "one of the poorest in the nation," also voted Democratic in 2004, but the margin was a bit larger this time, Truman notes. One factor could be an influx of retirees; recent data show the county benefiting from retirees and tourism, and Truman notes that "newish cabins dot the countryside." (Read more)

1 comment:

Holly said...

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