Did You Know . . .

that Democratic Presidential candidates carried West Virginia in every recent election except the last 2?

I found this relevant question:

Why could Jimmy Carter carry West Virginia TWICE, even in the 1980 Reagan landslide, Michael Dukakis could even carry West Virginia, Bill Clinton carried it twice by huge margins both times, yet Al Gore and John Kerry lost there? . . . [W]hat can Dems do to win it again?

Any answers?

By Big Tent Democrat

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    Perhaps Because (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by The Maven on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:35:39 AM EST
    the bitter voters there, clinging to their guns and religion, don't like Democratic candidates who appear to be patronizing and condescending.

    Just a shot in the dark.

    People vote against their economic interest (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by ChuckieTomato on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:35:52 AM EST
    all the time and it's partly because of comments like "bitter" and "cling" and disrespecting their culture

    Simple: they do not respect those who do not (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by feet on earth on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:45:54 PM EST
    respect them by trashing their way of life (including their only economic  job bank: in this case coal) and they trash them right back in the garbage can.  

    Ahh Bittergate (none / 0) (#52)
    by Claw on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:36:22 PM EST
    The gift that keeps on giving.  Do you disagree with Obama's comments when in context?  He's actually right on the money.  Many people vote for a candidate for stupid reasons--You wouldn't wanna have a beer with Gore...he's all stiff and elitist...but that Bush, well, he seems like reglar enough feller.
    I find it awful when EITHER campaign uses republican-style tactics, but Clinton's capitalization on the "bitter" remarks and the way she did it seemed very republican.
    I especially didn't like the "Obama was at a closed door fundraiser in San francisco [code for gay]," repetition.  
    Let's try to leave the gay-fear, sexism, racism, and fake scandals to the republicans.  Both sides are guilty here...but Clinton's use of bittergate isn't something she should be proud of.

    In context, I strongly disagree with his comments (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by thomphool on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:46:15 PM EST
    Obama was trying to make a point similar Frank's point from What's the Matter With Kansas, which, in my mind at least, Larry Bartel's work in using voting patterns, rigorous analysis and actual facts instead of musings has pretty thoroughly debunked.  The idea that realignment has happened because of  successful use of wedge issues just doesn't hold up to any rigorous analysis once you control for Southern realignment.  

    The sort of mentality and mindset on how to wage a general election campaign that springs from accepting the underlying thesis of Obama's remark is the mindset that has plagued so many Democrats in general elections.  Bill Clinton in 1992 approached the general with a different mindset, and it succeed for him, and his mindset is pretty solidly backed up by voting and ideological patterns from the NAES.  

    Too much analysis was done on the political fall out of Obama's remarks and not enough time was spent looking at the content, which I found to be the major problem and it goes further to show that many of the things that people criticize Obama for in his outreach to working class voters might not be "him not getting it," but instead are indicative of a mindset towards certain segments of the population that a lot of us Democrats fundamentally disagree with.  


    Then I think maybe he missed (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by kredwyn on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:53:29 PM EST
    Frank's point...and ultimately was interpreted as accusing voters of being bitter and clingy.

    Clinton managed to point out that there were class and economic issues involved without taking a thwack at the voters in the process.


    He wasn't right (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by cawaltz on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:52:36 PM EST
    Many people aren't bitter and care greatly about a single issue(enough to make a person decide one way or another on a candidate). My husband doesn't care about his stance on gun control because he is bitter and clings to his gun, he cares about it because he likes guns and he has some real concerns that are founded in the fact there are gun bans. Women who vote because of a particular stance on abortion don't do so over "bitterness", they do so because they have deep feelings on the issue. Economic interest isn't important but at the end of the day so are "social" issues to many people. You don't have to be "bitter" to believe that. It's disrespectful and wrong to boil feelings down to bitterness simply because you disagree with a stance. I understood what he was trying to say but the way he said it and the concept IMO is wrong.  

    I think (none / 0) (#60)
    by Claw on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:08:27 PM EST
    You make good points, but if people didn't vote for outrageously stupid reasons we wouldn't be enduring GWB's second term.  Sure, there are plenty of single issue voters out there, but an easy way to see that many, many people vote without a good reason or without really thinking about why they're voting is to play the Hillary-Hate game.  This is an easy game to play: wait until someone you know goes on an anti-Hillary rant, point out that most of the things they're saying about Hillary are untrue, wait for the inevitable response--"Well, I just don't like her."  Then ask, "Why?"  I guarantee you at least 15 seconds of stunned silence while the ranter tries to come up with a reason that isn't utterly silly.

    Excuse me but to clarify (none / 0) (#92)
    by hookfan on Sun May 11, 2008 at 09:51:37 PM EST
    Are you saying the white working class of west Virginia who are going to vote against Obama will do so for reasons that are stupid and unreasonable? And your primary basis for doing so is the election of George Bush? This seems to imply that hillary = GWB. If so I find that hypothesis both stupid and unreasonable.
       Second, could kerry not have been responsible for presenting himself to the working class as Kerry being stupid and unreasonable, while Bush connected by at least demonstrating a modicum of awareness of what their values and preferences are? True he conned them. However, Kerry presented himself  as both stupid and unreasonable by not even being able to portray even a modicum of connection.
       I have several other words for you but they will get me banned and your statements in their blatant condenscenscion and stupidity  are not worth it.

    You lost me (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by angie on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:58:50 PM EST
    when you wrote his comments were "right on the money."  When you start off with that as your default position you have nowhere to go but down.

    You disagree (none / 0) (#75)
    by Claw on Sun May 11, 2008 at 02:58:26 PM EST
    Then that many voters vote for a candidate based on very bad and/or stupid reasons?  That's the point he was (albeit very clumsily) trying to make.  Be honest, I lost you when you realized I support Obama.  Nothing wrong with that.

    You left out the most important part (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by otherlisa on Sun May 11, 2008 at 03:20:07 PM EST
    the context: this was Obama's response when asked why working class voters were not voting for him.

    There are a whole lot of reasons why someone might not support Obama, beyond their "bitter" and "clinging" mentalities.

    It was condescending and showed a huge lack of understanding of the electorate.


    don't tell me what I think (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by angie on Sun May 11, 2008 at 03:59:25 PM EST
    unlike Obama who says one thing and then spends the next several days trying to WORM his way out of it, I wrote exactly what I meant -- you lost me when you said his comments were right on the money -- they weren't -- the fact that you defend them is sad.

    We can't ignore it (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Lisa on Sun May 11, 2008 at 05:24:37 PM EST
    Because the people who were insulted can't ignore it.

    These people are NOT stupid - but they can tell a mile away when someone thinks they are.

    Such as the "creative class" with their "bubba" insults thinking they know what's best for them.

    I know a few West Virginians who will tell them in no uncertain terms just what they can do with their condescending attitudes.


    It's Elitist, by Definition, (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Robot Porter on Sun May 11, 2008 at 06:58:55 PM EST
    to say:

    Many people vote for a candidate for stupid reasons

    YOU ARE WRONG (none / 0) (#93)
    by northeast73 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 10:44:28 AM EST
    First of all, there was NOTHING correct about Obamas statement...He was answering a question about NOT being able to get ahead of HILLARY CLINTON....in a democratic primary with democratic voters.

    He was NOT making some grand "whats the matter with kansas" type comment.  I see the media dogs who defend him did a good job spinning it though...

    And the San Fran remark was because San Fran is known as a hotbet of snotty elitisim....demostrated by Obama talking bout small-town pennslyvaninas like they were some strange tribe.  Clinton has won the gay vote 2 to 1 over Obama because of people like Meeks and McClursky (sp?) that ARE anti-gay and memebers of the Obama campaign.

    Another media spin "clinton is trying to paint Obama as eltist".  Obama did that all by himself.


    Dah That Answer Is Soooo Obvious (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:36:10 AM EST
    They were men who knew the people and the language. Unfortunately, Obama does not.

    If the Dems want to win WV (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 11, 2008 at 06:52:48 PM EST
    and the other mountain states, they should nominate Hillary Clinton. She and Bubba can win them, Obama will be lucky if he gets out of the state without having rotten vegetables thrown at him. The people of WV may be poor, but they have their pride, and their roots go deep in their state. They won't vote for someone just because they are a Dem, they will vote for someone that has and will do something for them. The Clintons won there twice. They can do it again. Obama can't. McCain will get respect as a war hero, but not votes.

    So true. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Kathy on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:39:40 AM EST
    Kerry and Gore did not connect with those voters at all.  Let's call them the dem base.  Let's see how anyone on the dem side can win without them.

    Dukakis? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:45:35 AM EST

    I Somehow Missed Dukakis' Name In The (none / 0) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:53:05 AM EST
    group. Have no idea how he won in WV. I was referring to Carter and Clinton.

    So now you know (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:55:12 AM EST
    How did Dukakis win West Virginia?

    Haven't The Foggiest Idea (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:20:02 AM EST
    What do you thing?

    Habit (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:00:38 PM EST
    Still voting against Hoover? (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by andgarden on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:11:07 PM EST
    Don't know... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kredwyn on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:03:38 AM EST
    was Dukakis a good listener when it came to campaigning?

    Singer did an interview with him back in 2005.


    Dukakis is a great intellectual (none / 0) (#30)
    by andrewwm on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:19:14 AM EST
    but a really terrible campaigner. He just never had the instinct for it.

    The thing is, WVa has been part of the Dem solid south, and, being particularly poor helped the Dems retain it for longer.

    But, I think the same thing that had the Dems cede the South to the Rs is the same thing that has pushed WVa out of reach for the Ds.

    You can say the same thing for a lot of Southern states actually - GA was won by every successful D candidate (except LBJ in 1964) up until 1996.


    Intellectual? Dukakis? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:27:27 PM EST
    As Governor, he always seemed more like a businessman/technocrat.  He was also interested in environmental issues.  That could have been good in WV.

    As for how the Democrats can win in WV, it's obvious.  Nominate Hillary.  And she's much better on environment than Obama too.


    He's been teaching (none / 0) (#62)
    by andrewwm on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:14:02 PM EST
    for the last 15 years or so, and he always came across to me as technocratic, so we're probably in agreement on that anyway.

    At any rate, you're probably right that Clinton has a better chance at WVa. On the other hand, this type of demographic has been slipping away from the Ds for a long time. At some point, we're going to have to realize that the parts of the old Solid South (with the carve-out cities of New South excluded, of course) are gone and try to find a new electoral map where we win.


    To My Mind....Being Intellectual Isn't Everything (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:19:29 PM EST
    unless you stir in a healthy dose of common sense and savvy.  My take, obama is sadly lacking in common sense and it has and will continue to hurt him.

    You're seriously arguing (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Eleanor A on Sun May 11, 2008 at 02:24:47 PM EST
    that Georgia somehow turned racist overnight in 1996?

    A more logical answer might be the explosive growth of the Atlanta exurbs.  Corporations were given mondo tax incentives to move there, and a bunch of moneyed types went to Cobb and Gwinnett to build their McMansions.

    (Actually, this may tell me a lot, if Dems from the Northeast and places like Oregon think the South goes Republican because it's full of racists.  The truth is more complicated, but I can see why it would lead non-Southerners to think the region is beyond repair.

    I personally think Schaller's full of hot air, if only because he tries to excise Florida - much of which is Baja Alabama - out of the South to complete his arguments.)


    Well...demographics again (none / 0) (#21)
    by andrewwm on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:07:04 AM EST
    WVa has been part of the Southern populist Democratic wing since the modern democratic party formed. The only Democrats to win have been in some way able to draw on at least part of the old "Solid South".

    So elections before 1964 Democrats, winning and losing, always won the South. After 1964, the only two Democrats elected were both Southern governors with a hint of that old time Southern populism.

    The question is whether the Western states, the NE, and a resurgent midwest are now enough to lead the Ds to victory. As an interesting fact, this Congress is the first time that there has been a Congress since the turn of the century where the majority party did not itself contain a majority of Southerners.


    Trouble is (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Eleanor A on Sun May 11, 2008 at 02:06:01 PM EST
    the South is still going to have the majority of the population through 2025.  Florida will be the third most populous state as projected by the Census Bureau.

    Sure, there'll be a lot of population growth in the West - much of it coming from the Midwest - but the Party is still going to have to keep working in the South.  (Not the least reason is that 40%+ of African Americans live in the South...)  The first thing they ought to do is quit writing off states like WV and AR....I think Hillary would actually have a shot in Tennessee, thanks to all the folks who voted for Clinton 1....in contrast to Gore, who made all of one campaign appearance in the state, two days before the election.  (You can't blame him, he had won his Senate races by 80-20 margins, but the Republicans continually outwork us here....)


    Indeed, (none / 0) (#29)
    by andgarden on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:19:00 AM EST
    It's the first time the southern bulls have been out of power since the mid-50s.

    If you can talk to people in WVA (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by AnninCA on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:42:29 AM EST
    you can talk to the world.  They demand straight talk that makes sense without a lot of fussy words.  LOL*

    My guess is that gifted politicians who win elections know how to frame their message to the audience.

    yes, but the politican has to be (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by hellothere on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:09:54 PM EST
    gifted in speaking to the average joe so to speak on candid one to one type terms rather than reading from a teleprompter.

    Yes, you are quite right.. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 11, 2008 at 06:56:19 PM EST
    Like Bobby Byrd. Senator Byrd to those who are not his constituents. He is known as Bobby in WV, and is called that when he goes home to talk to people. I have seen him, and met him, when he does the trips home. People in WV trust him, and they love him. He knows how to talk to them. It's too bad Obama didn't take some lessons from the Senate's longest serving member. He could learn something from Senator Byrd's voting record too. The man has cast more votes in the Senate than anyone in the history of Congress. And not one of them was "present".

    There Are No (none / 0) (#85)
    by squeaky on Sun May 11, 2008 at 06:59:44 PM EST
    Present vote in the Senate. That was the Ill State Senate, and voting present is quite a common practice for all who serve and have served there.

    "Not present" then (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Evie on Sun May 11, 2008 at 07:56:44 PM EST
    I think the point was that some Senators, such as Senator Byrd, showed up and voted a lot, rather than missing or ducking votes.

    Yes, I am aware of that. (none / 0) (#87)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 11, 2008 at 07:48:51 PM EST
    In my life, I have spent many hours in the Senate gallery. My point was that to impress West Virginians, you have to show up and do the damn job. Not just be in the room occasionally. Obama seems to think that being in the room occasionally is how you do the job. It isn't.

    Any answers? (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by p lukasiak on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:47:59 AM EST
    Isn't it obvious?

    Because Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush I, and Bob Dole were all black.  

    Heh (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:54:26 AM EST
    Giggle (none / 0) (#39)
    by DJ on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:46:01 AM EST
    John Kerry did (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by bjorn on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:53:36 AM EST
    not campaign in any rural areas...I don't know about Gore.  But coal does seem like the most likely explanation.

    The thousand mile away answer (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by andgarden on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:06:16 AM EST
    is that blue collar workers have turned away from the Democrats in this party of the country. You can see it in the Pittsburgh area, where Kerry did worse than Gore, who did worse than Clinton. An example: Gore won Greene County PA by almost ten points, but Bush won it outright in 2000. Reagan didn't even win that county in 1984. Just look at the Southwest of PA in 1984 and compare it to 2000 and 2004. Greene county is in the far lower left corner.

    Interestingly, though... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by andrewwm on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:09:54 AM EST
    within those counties, it's the richest who support the Republicans and the poorest that still vote Democratic.

    So we're back to the problem of appealing to middle-class voters in poorer areas.


    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by andgarden on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:14:12 AM EST
    And of course, since we're talking about WV, I didn't point to eastern PA, there the counties surrounding Philly have gone from never voting Democratic to almost always doing so.

    Bill Clinton had the amazing ability to win both types of counties, which is why he won PA by 10 points in 1996.


    Yes I did know that (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by facta non verba on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:08:05 AM EST
    it has always been a very Democratic state. When Gore lost it, it was a surprise but with Kerry, nope, no surprise at all. The National Democratic Party is out of touch.

    Donna Brazille (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by Stellaaa on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:10:34 AM EST
    that is why we lost it, Donna and her ilk.  They are going after new Democrats and keep excluding the old ones.  

    whooooo Stellaaa.....SNAP! (none / 0) (#66)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:20:45 PM EST
    When Gore Lost It (none / 0) (#53)
    by PSoTD on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:41:39 PM EST
    Any chance that was related to Bill's, er, indiscretion?

    More likely (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by oldpro on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:20:29 PM EST
    the result of Gore not willing to send Bill out on his behalf.

    Big mistake.  Huge.


    No, definitely not.. (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 11, 2008 at 08:07:54 PM EST
    although they didn't think much of what he did, they thought a lot of him lying to protect his wife's feelings. The idea that Congress, or anyone, had the right to know about a blowjob just didn't sit well with them. And they think the world of Hillary for standing by him, then and now. The fact that she is still with him makes a big statement to them. The women especially empathize with her. The thing is that in the mountains, at least the area I was in, the men do run around like men anywhere do, but at the end of the day they come home to the family. And so does the paycheck. The women in WV know what's important, it's keeping the family together and raising the kids, not worrying about where hubby has been dipping his wick for fun. Sex isn't love, and they know that in WV. Of course, I have also seen the situation where a woman came home from work and found her hubby in HER bed with another woman and shot the two of them right then and there. She was acquitted..defense of self and home. Gotta love WV!!

    The Sunday Talk is so stupid (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by ajain on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:09:54 AM EST
    Mostly ignoring Clinton and so totally disrespecting her candidacy. Now the idea that she is somehow like all other losers is ridiculous.

    She is, first of all a woman. And secondly has gotten 16 million votes. That is an incredible number. Now to somehow compare that to Huckabee or Mitt Romney or anyone else and hence ignore her is ridiculous. I think they are making a mistake and her allies could cause serious problem.

    Also... (none / 0) (#26)
    by ajain on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:12:18 AM EST
    The complete ignoring of upcoming primaries. I dont know why they would do that. I think Reid struck a good tone.

    They were not perceived as having empathy (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by felizarte on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:23:28 AM EST
    for the ordinary American; they came across as social engineers but did not focus on how to improve the living conditions of the majority of the citizens; things like jobs, healthcare, education, peace and order.  And Bush was successful in framing Gore as such.  It was exacerbated by distancing himself from Bill Clinton.  This is also what Barack Obama is doing and it spells disaster for the dem party once again.

    The notion of living in "the land of the free and home of the brave" is inherent, though perhaps subconsciously, in the ordinary American.  Part of that freedom is owning a gun and freedom of worship. And when that status is threatened, people have visceral feelings that are expressed in the secrecy of the voting booth.

    Barack will not be able to take back his 'bitter/cling' remarks or disassociate himself from Ted Kennedy, Kerry and the elite so visibly on his side.  Barack also does not address the problem with jobs, or stimulating the economy.  While Hillary talks about jobs, jobs, and clean coal and alternative energy sources.

    If You Don't Ask for People's Votes (5.00 / 10) (#46)
    by BDB on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:12:07 PM EST
    you won't get them.  Gore and Kerry did not ask for Appalachia's votes.  Which is weird given that Gore is from Tennessee.  But they essentially wrote off those states.  Just as Obama is writing them off now.  

    What can the Dems do to have a shot at winning KY and WVA, ask for their votes.  But Obama has already shown he has no intention of doing this and a large part of his "movement" - the urban liberals - are happy about that.  They would rather take their chances on Colorado (a state that's gone blue once in 40 years) or Virginia (a state that has never gone blue in 40 years) than deign to ask for poor white people's votes.  

    Dems have to revamp (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:20:25 PM EST
    their primary system. The process does not produce a nominee that can win. Yes, I know Carter and Clinton made it to the WH... but out of the last 9 elections.. Dems have won 3.  

    The system was change after McGovern lost in 1972. The sytem is just not working.

    And the way things are going... Dems won't this time either.

    P.I.P. You Ain't Lying. The Dem Primaries (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    have created nothing but a big mess.  It is essential, though, that we let this play out to the end.  AND THEN THE DEM PARTY BETTER RETOOL THE SYSTEM.  

    I'm trying, w/o success, to figure (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oculus on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:32:49 PM EST
    out why almost all of my over-60 friends, who are highly educated, are Obama supporters, and whether the 1972 election and McGovern are somehow a part of their subconscious choice.  Right after I write the definitive book on why IA caucuses went to Obama, I'll start developing the McGovern/Obama supporter theory.

    Most important item (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by RalphB on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:54:57 PM EST
    on the agenda is to fix the primary system!  It's too convoluted and voter dilution is rampant, what with all the proportional delegate counts and the ridiculous caucuses.

    For a first model, they should look at the GOP process.  It's designed, through making the big swing states winner-take-all, to pick the best GE candidate.  If the Democrats followed the GOP model, Hillary would be the presumptive nominee.


    Honest elections in WV? (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Lora on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:38:07 PM EST
    From Bev Harris at Black Box Voting:

    Fraud follows presidential primaries like a hound on a scent. Most people don't pay much attention, because they are distracted by the main event: the general election, the Democrats vs. the Republicans.

    During the 1996 presidential primary an elections official in Logan County, West Virginia sold his own vote. County Clerk Glen Dale "Hound Dog" Adkins pocketed an impressive $500 for it, higher than normal -- but then again, maybe votes cost extra when you buy them from someone who also has inside access to adjust ballots and voting machines.(1)

    Conspiracy theory? That's half right. The Logan County sheriff and the city of Logan's police chief also pleaded guilty to election fraud, and six officials in nearby Lincoln County also got nailed. Conspiracy yes, but not a theory.

    For the past five years citizens have looked on in amazement as public officials perform contortions of reason to justify why our votes should be counted in secret by insiders, with a chain of custody so indecipherable only a criminal defense lawyer could love it.

    "After all, you have to trust someone," they tell us.

    Unless WV or any state counts its votes in full public view, fraud is always a possibility.  With electronic vote casting and/or counting, fraud becomes easier to get away with on a large scale.

    This isn't an answer but it ought to at least be a question.  

    Any answers? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Lisa on Sun May 11, 2008 at 05:17:39 PM EST
    The first thing they can do is drop the racist talk.

    If it wasn't racist when AA's voted 9 to 1 for Obama in NC, why is it racist for whites to vote for Hillary 3 to 2 in WV?

    We know racism is real among a SMALL segment of the population - in both directions.  

    But alienating good people to win an election - that's just plain stupid.  

    I will not vote for Obama in November.  And I've been a Democrat since I was a kid watching the Watergate hearings.

    But I'm an American first - and now I'm not even a Democrat second, because I've sent in my papers to switch to Independent.  I'm going to write to our Democratic governor and tell him, it's no reflection on him (he's a staunch Clinton supporter).  

    I'm not going to belong to a party that would rig primaries, play into Karl Rove's hands, totally disregard the more experienced female candidate, and call anyone who doesn't vote for the inexperienced junior senator with the shady past racist.

    And I won't vote for anyone who calls Bill and Hillary, who have worked their whole lives making life better for everyone of all walks of life, racist.

    The racist talk is just making people in WV turn against Democrats.  Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.  For some reason, they aren't into the "bubba" insults from the "creative class" elite.

    The Obama backers have managed to turn off people in states we needed to win - and I'm supposed to trust them to run the COUNTRY?  I'm an American first.  No way.

    The three Gs (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:36:26 AM EST
    Were apparently more salient in the 2000s.

    Oh, and coal (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:39:32 AM EST
    Bush was an oil man, and Gore and Kerry actually care a little bit about the environment.

    answer (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:39:22 AM EST
    They disliked Gore's energy plans -- W. Va. is all about coal --

    but but but (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by RalphB on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:30:19 AM EST
    Obama is the pro-coal candidate in this primary race.  I think it also has a lot to do with the image projected by the candidates.  

    Gore and Karry seemed to be the more effete candidate during their races.  As an example, while Bush I had that preppy wimp image to some degree, Bush II, with the Midland oilman thing, seemed completely different.  Man of the people and all that.

    In this race, Hillary projects the fighting dem while Obama takes the effete role.


    mccain won't take the effete image in (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by hellothere on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:08:46 PM EST
    the general election either.

    No he certainly won't! (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by RalphB on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:24:22 PM EST
    but if he's running against Hillary, there won't be an effete candidate in the race.  Then the fight can be about policy and Hillary will win.

    It's both (none / 0) (#58)
    by cawaltz on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:55:42 PM EST
    I know we like to think everything is simple but it ain't. Policy matters.......but so does personality.

    It's a bit simplistic but... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Fabian on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:46:16 AM EST
    It's true that WV's biggest natural resource is coal and that it lacks much economic activity outside of coal.

    So if you are going to beat on coal, you'd best be willing to talk about what you are going to give WV if you plan on taking away coal income.

    The states are starting to line up to compete for hoped-for Green Industry/Economy dollars.  (I still have problems with that.  The original "green industry" is landscape/gardening/nurseries.  Guess they should have trade marked it.)  Perhaps promising to help WV to compete for those dollars is in order?  I believe wind power is also an option.


    even if we put every single penny (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Kathy on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:04:31 AM EST
    we had into renewable energy starting today, we'd still need coal for at least the next ten years, if not longer, while we tried to work it all out.

    A great deal of our electrical power comes from coal.  We're going to need that energy to produce the products that make coal obsolete.

    Aluminum is a perfect example.  Just about everything you see, from windmills to solar farms to hybrid cars, needs aluminum.  Do you know how much electrical power it takes to create aluminum?


    Well, I'm pro-nuclear (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:17:51 AM EST
    but I know that's a verboten opinion on the left.

    I'm okay with nuclear (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by Kathy on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:24:28 AM EST
    So long as we use the same technology that France and Germany are using, with their capture and recycling systems.  Our nuclear industry is still operating on 1960s technology, and they have no incentive to change.

    Still, you need tons of aluminum for nuclear plants.  Coal won't go away overnight.  I'd estimate it'd take another 50-60 years for our coal burning plants to go offline, and that's being generous and assuming we start working right now on getting rid of them.

    But, yeah, nuclear doesn't bother me when it's properly controlled and regulated.


    I'll be fine with (none / 0) (#47)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:21:27 PM EST
    nuclear when we know what to do with the waste. Safely and securely. To me that does not include some harebrained plan that thinks burying something for thousands of years is a good idea. Nor does it include any plan that has tons of the lethal waste trucked from one end of the country to another.

    *whispers* (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Step Beyond on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:24:46 AM EST
    Me too.

    But not recycled (none / 0) (#68)
    by oldpro on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:31:24 PM EST
    aluminum.  Something under 10% to reprocess it from what I've heard.

    Obama loves coal though. (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:32:26 PM EST
    He's even pushing that in KY.  But in WV, they must be worried about the environment.  Their mountaintops have all be sheared off.  Where will there be to hunt and fish if it continues this way.  Plus there is a lot of poverty in WV, so it's all about the economy.  They trust Hillary to handle it and don't trust Barack.

    The coal companies are (none / 0) (#90)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 11, 2008 at 08:19:34 PM EST
    mostly owned by people outside WV. The new mountain-top removal method is poisoning the surrounding areas and ruining the mountains that have sustained West Virginians for over 300 years. The coal companies are laying off people because the mountain-top removal is mostly done by machine. Coal, clean or not, is not as big an issue as some people think in WV. And WV has a huge natural gas deposit underneath it. Huge. Capped gas wells all over the state. And that is a much cleaner fuel than coal. And the people of WV know it. So, they are still in the energy game even if coal is phased out. They would rather keep their mountains than remove the tops and they would rather sell the natural gas than the coal since few people die drilling natural gas wells. Lots of them die in coal mines. And the gas that comes out of the ground in WV is so clean that it can be used without processing. It has some impurities, and they can be dealt with by using a different valve to burn it. That's all it takes to burn it right out of the ground, a different valve. Costs the same as the ones on the gas appliances now, so it won't be hard to switch. I had neighbors who ran their entire farming operation, chicken houses and all, off their own natural gas wells. The only thing they used outside power for was the electric in the house, lights and such. Everything else ran off the gas out of their well.

    If Kerry had carried Ohio he would have won ...
    If he had flipped West Virginia he still would have lost.   I think Democrats lost West Virginia on the gun issue and since everyone has backed off this issue , it is a state that can return to blue

    If (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:25:49 PM EST
    Kerry could have been persuaded to "fight" for the votes and voters of Ohio he might have become president. Blackwell and his ilk might still have stolen the election but at least we could have taken pride in a Democrat that didn't roll over and play dead. Lord, how I loathe the chicken crap wimps that haven't the guts to fight not only for their votes but for the rights of the citizens that cast those votes. I will never forgive Kerry for folding like a cheap lawn chair.

    I always thought that (none / 0) (#17)
    by kredwyn on Sun May 11, 2008 at 10:57:32 AM EST
    the gun thing got Gore. Pretty sure it took Kerry out too.

    Gore lost (none / 0) (#86)
    by ding7777 on Sun May 11, 2008 at 07:01:38 PM EST
    three pro-gun states (WV, TN and Arkansas) because of his gun stand - and he barely carried PA because of it

    States do just flip sometimes (none / 0) (#36)
    by zzyzx on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:31:23 AM EST
    California went Republican in every election from 68 to 88.  Now it seems impossible for that to happen.  I'll gladly keep that trade.

    i am not sure sure. with the latino vote (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by hellothere on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:11:52 PM EST
    and the disgruntled voters that put the former dem governor to pasture, obama will have to do better than latte liberals.

    Could it have been the supporters? (none / 0) (#37)
    by waldenpond on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:35:31 AM EST
    I'm not familiar enough with the history of the supporters of the campaigns.  Is there a correlation between the so-called energy of some campaigns that are a turn off to many people?

    This kind of behavior is not going to garner any Clinton supporters... W VA.

    Trying to recall, precisely . . . (none / 0) (#40)
    by wurman on Sun May 11, 2008 at 11:50:41 AM EST
    . . . it seems that Dukakis campaigned WV in the primary & general elections.

    Did Gore & Kerry take the state for granted?

    Here's a link to a review about a book that attributes the whole process to corruption as a constant factor in WV.
    BOOK REVIEW: `Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide' Chronicles WV's History of Political Corruption
    Posted by kinchendavid on July 23, 2006

    Forgot to write my take . . . (none / 0) (#41)
    by wurman on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:00:15 PM EST
    . . . Bu$hInc bought the elections in WV.

    Dukakis appealed (none / 0) (#59)
    by MichaelGale on Sun May 11, 2008 at 12:59:59 PM EST
    to middle class voters.  The rich/the not so rich.  Just like Hillary.

    His cousin is Olympia Dukasis  who was also famous and in some good films around that time like Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias.
    Maybe that helped.

    Just how are primary votes "qualified" ? (none / 0) (#77)
    by WatchCat51 on Sun May 11, 2008 at 03:38:37 PM EST
    It will be interesting to watch the primaries from here on out.  (Most universities are out for the year, and many students are now at home--which may mean a different state.)  Being part of a university community, I've especially been watching the student voting and how efficient it is for a candidate to stir up large student audiences, register numerous new voters, and gain a huge voting block.  This morning an unsettling thought occurred to me.  This is not the general election where everyone votes on the same day.  Each state, independent of the others, has their own method for selecting delegates.  Do these new voters know that they cannot vote at their out-of-state college residence and then vote again in their own home state's primary?  I understand that many people have changed their party registration in order to legally vote in the Democratic primary this year--which apparently you can do in most states just one month in advance.  Is there any organized, coordinated effort to check on whether people are voting in two different states?  Is this legal if you reregister a month ahead?  Does anybody out there know?  

    Did Jimmy Carter and Dukakis push gun control (none / 0) (#81)
    by bridget on Sun May 11, 2008 at 05:53:01 PM EST
    as much as the Clinton admin? I can't  say what their position re guns was. But Gun control was a big issue thruout the 90s.

    The conventional wisdom in the Dem party seems to be that Gore lost West Virginia and Tennessee because he favored gun control.

    Kerry didn't push gun control as much but the damage was done for the Dems re guns in West V. and the Reps won.

    my two cents

    guns and coal (none / 0) (#91)
    by DiamondJay on Sun May 11, 2008 at 08:40:38 PM EST
    lost it for Gore. Not only was he painted as taking guns away, and image he NEVER fought, he never once hunted on camera, or even owned a gun, but I think more importantly, if there was anywhere his environmentalism hurt him, it was WV. They were scared he'd hurt the coal industry. The coal industry is the whole economy there. Also, Gore never fought back on the NRA, and never promoted clean coal technology. he only lost by 5, so it was a close loss he should have won. At first, you'd think that Clinton's gun control hurt Gore, but then why didn't it hurt Clinton in 1996, where he landslided Bob Dole in that state? Coal was the X factor, and Gore didn't get perceived as being friendly. That lost it for him.