Saturday, May 10, 2008

Obama's likely landslide loss in West Virginia signals trouble in the fall with rural, white voters

West Virginia votes Tuesday. With Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by 40 percentage points or more in some polls, the outcome is not in doubt. But the expected vote in one of America's whitest, poorest and most rural states points up the problems Democrats fear Obama will have in November with rural whites, especially older ones and those who have not been to college.

Stephen Braun of the Los Angeles Times reports on interviews with Democrats in Moorefield, W.Va.: "Some fear voters will be turned off by Obama's black heritage. Others, they say, will find reason to doubt his patriotism or will perceive him to be an elitist. It remains unclear how racial unease will factor into election-day decisions come November. Those hidden impulses are elusively difficult to capture in polling. But seasoned Democratic players here reckon that some racially tinged voting will inevitably occur far beyond Hardy County's cresting hills."

"There's a lot of bigotry in the country, not just West Virginia," Democrat Clyde See Jr., former speaker of the state House and two-time candidate for governor, told Braun. And Braun found some of it for himself, quoting one suspicious Democrats "Obama just doesn't sound right for an American president" and an Obama supporter on some of her neighbors: "They're convinced he is a Muslim, a terrorist, a guy who's coming to take away their guns. It's just sad." (Read more)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Obama won Boone County, Indiana, with 52 percent of the Democratic vote -- and that there WERE Democrats appearing in a county that has been described as "The iron duchy of Indiana Republicanism" is significant. Boone County is 97 percent white.

We aren't all rubes out here in the bean fields. Nor are we all bigots.

Here's another problem I have with this story; "Obama's likely landslide loss..."

How about we count the actual votes, instead of what folks are telling the pollsters?

Oh -- that would be journalism, wouldn't it?