Obama lost around 40% of the vote in primaries held in Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia. Of course, The Washington Compost posted a story providing useless and utterly inane analysis surrounding the reasons why the president did so poorly as the incumbent candidate. Chris Cillizza wrote:
that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Appalachia and portions of the South — particularly those states without large African American populations — have long been hostile to President Obama.
There are any number of data points that make that point plainly.
During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Obama lost Kentucky by 35 points and West Virginia by 41(!) points to then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even though both states voted late enough in the process that it was already clear Obama would be the nominee.
In the 2008 general election, only five states voted more Republican than they had four years earlier. Those five states were: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. (In Oklahoma and West Virginia, Obama and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry got the same percentage of the vote but Obama got less raw votes.)
And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s an amazing graphic, courtesy of the New York Times, that shows the counties that voted more Republican in 2008 than they did in 2004.
However, it may surprise some liberals that a significant amount of Democrats have conservative leanings, especially in the region Mr. Cillizza is referring to in this post. Furthermore, Cillizza quotes
Tom Cole, a Republican House Member, dismissed the idea of race as a major factor in opposition to Obama out of hand.
Obama fares poorly in states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas because he has nothing in common with them. They are rural, he is urban. They are populist, he is elitist. And in case anyone hadn’t noticed, they are conservative while he is liberal. That isn’t just true of Republicans in these states. It is true of Democrats as well.
Nine of these wins occurred in “blue” counties where Democrats have a registration advantage – Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Elk, Lawrence, Mercer, Monroe and Westmoreland…in all of these counties we witnessed Republicans, Independents and even Democrats rejecting Democratic candidates, their big government agenda and President Obama, proving that great Republican candidates can compete and win even in the Democratic counties in the Commonwealth. The story lines are even more intriguing when looking at each race county-by-county and case-by-case. Consider Westmoreland County, where Democrats out-register Republicans 53% to 38%, yet Republicans won the courthouse for the first time in more than 50 years, winning two commissioners and sweeping all of the row offices… in these cases, we see conservative “Reagan Democrats” coming out in droves for Republican candidates. While each county in Pennsylvania is unique, a universal distaste for President Obama’s failed policies was found everywhere and Republicans were successful in large part because we related the ongoing national debates surrounding spending and taxes to issues at the local level.
simply labeling the 42 percent of Kentuckians who supported “uncommitted” over Obama or the 41 percent of Arkansas who backed Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe over the incumbent as “racists” is a major oversimplification.
Untangling or decoupling how people feel about Obama’s race from how they feel about the policies he has pursued in office and his general beliefs about the size and necessity of government is impossible. No poll or election result can divine voters’ motivations.
However, as demonstrated in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, voters, especially the blue dog, conservative wing of the Democratic Party are beginning to sour on Barry for his failure to get America back on track. Unemployment has remained above 8% for over thirty-eight months, the national debt has increased by $ 5 trillion dollars, we’ve ran our third consecutive trillion dollar deficit under this administration. These aren’t things that drive the faithful to the polls. His record is dismal and the people are calling him out on it. It really isn’t that difficult left wingers. A study session isn’t needed for everything.