Obama’s West Virginia Problem

Two recent polls released earlier in the week, showed that Barack Obama has a bit of problem looming in the upcoming West Virginia primary:

A new tracking poll out late Tuesday shows Hillary Clinton with a sizable advantage among registered Democrat and independent voters in West Virginia over opponent Barack Obama. The poll was completed prior to the decisions in North Carolina and Indiana.

56% of those surveyed indicate they will vote for Clinton compared to 18% for Obama. There are 26% undecided voters, according to the poll of 403 voters by Mark Blankenship Enterprises. Compared to a previous MBE poll in February, Clinton is up 13%, while Obama’s numbers haven’t changed.

A Rasmussen Reports poll showed Clinton with a 56%-27% advantage over Obama Monday in West Virginia.

Again we’re seeing the same pattern that has developed in some key battleground states that shows that Obama’s “scant support among white working-class Democrats, especially men, could dog him into November.”

The bottom-line is that “despite a well-financed television campaign and endorsements from Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV and Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, Obama is expected to finish well behind Clinton in West Virginia’s primary, which will award 28 pledged delegates.”

For whatever reason Obama seems to have a problem resonating with “white voters in blue-collar, leaning-red states” where Hillary Clinton’s economic populist pitch goes to the heart of voter’s needs. Jerome Armstrong says on MYDD, “If I could submit a question to Ted Kennedy, it’d be: “Why can’t Barack Obama connect with the voters of West Virginia like JFK did?”” 

Seriously, why not? And as you can see from the poll numbers above, it has nothing to do with the adoration of Clinton that would turn over to Obama were he the nominee. And think about it, if your knee-jerk answer is that they are racist– are you really saying something that you think Obama and his campaign can’t say, or are you saying it because of anger and frustration?  Racism is ignorance, but unfounded accusations of racism are just as low on the scum-radar.

Obama will be making his only visit in the week leading up to the  primary, on Monday. Clinton’s been there all week– she’s trying to run up the score.

The following week, Barack Obama has planned a party to claim the nomination in Portland, based on his own campaigns measurement. He can say whatever he wants, but it’s an insult to intelligence to believe it until it happens by the rules. As Howard Dean has said many times, MI and FL are going to be resolved and seated. Obama has now agreed with that position. Like it or not, the working number of delegates is 2209. There’s not a rule that says if you get a plurality of the pledged delegates, you win.

The Obama campaign will declare that there’s never been a candidate denied the election who had the most pledged delegates. True. But has there been a candidate denied the nomination whose had the most votes?  I don’t think so. But neither of those metrics matters. 2209, or whatever the number is after the resolution of MI and FL happens to be, is all that matters. Until then, we don’t have a nominee.

Stay tuned… for all intents and purposes, Obama still does not have the nomination locked up.

UPDATE: The last two paragraph’s of this post smack of the liberal elitist mentality of Obama supporters in the blogosphere who continue to under-estimate the importance of the low income and working class vote. It’s no small wonder why some remain turned off by this elitism that pervades in Obama supporters.

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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7 Responses to Obama’s West Virginia Problem

  1. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Let’s go West Virginia ! Are we all in shock over NC ? Did they compare and contrast reading or listen to the news ? I’m not over it yet ! Do you want a public educational system and polar bears that are living ? Vote Clinton ! Do you want an agenda that’s intelligent and experienced day one for the nation ? She’s it and make no mistake about it ! Hire someone that can get the job done ! God Bless America and West Virginia ! She’s a gold mine for the country ! Go Clinton !

  2. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Cole mines found a gold mine ! Go Clinton !

  3. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Obama’s problem is, he doesn’t have the experience to run the country ! That’s a direct intelligent compare and contrast reality ! Politically correct,not sure but it’s studied and opinionated with a heart felt drive to believe she can and we will ! We have a gold mine in Hillary Clinton ! Chip away !

  4. Gilbert Martinez says:

    Again, I think we need to get away from the “white working class” rhetoric. With the exception of African Americans, Obama is not winning any working class racial groups: white, Asian American, Hispanic.

    There is a fundamental division within the Party that the Obama has revealed. It is now obvious why Universal Health Care was so quickly thrown off the table and supported whole heartedly by Obama supporters. There is a reason why it is now OK for Democrats to dog-whistle social security.

    No matter who wins this primary, these divisions are going to have to be addressed. It will make the Party better. But hiding behind the Unity Pony and pretending nothing is wrong won’t help.

  5. Gilbert

    I have a feeling you will some changes in Obama’s platform when the convention rolls around. That’s part of the process. The delegates will fight for aspects of the platform that are important like health care. I wouldn’t be surprised to his health care plan emerge looking more like Clinton’s and Edwards’ — you got to know both of them will fight for that at the convention.

  6. Based on the proposals I’ve heard for dividing up the Michigan and Florida delegations, Sen. Obama still leaves the process with a virtual lock on enough delegates for the nomination, and Sen. Clinton is still looking at a mathematical impossibility. He crosses the finish line with a majority of votes, pledged delegates, and supers, and no plausible scenario prevents that.

    To those who want to quit the party over an Obama candidacy, it looks like the train to quit just pulled into the station.

    To the rest, it’s time to roll up our sleeves, get to work, and start making plans to celebrate the good old fashioned ass whipping that we’re ready to put on old mister ex-straight talker, and all of his redneck buddies out there on the fringe right.

  7. kangeroo says:

    it makes sense that obama can’t connect with these voters, because i think he really doesn’t give a crap about them. i’m convinced that obama’s a 3rd party candidate in the midst of a hostile takeover of the democratic party–and i’m finding commenters out there who are on the same wavelength.

    from derridog at noquarter, re: the media:

    The question that bothers me is why they want her out so badly. This likely means that the corporations don’t want the Clintons because they know how the government runs and historically have put the brakes on corporate greed. But the other question is: do they want Obama because McCain can knock him out easily or do they want Obama because he’s their guy -they put him up to this because he’s in their pockets and they want to take over the Democratic Party and knock all the progressives out of it and leave us with only easily ignored third parties.

    I think the latter.

    from chancellor at talkleft:

    [A]s I see it, this year, the will of the voters is going to mean less than the power struggle going on within the Beltway Dems–aided and abetted by some in the blogosphere. The Mountain States are seen by these “new coalition” Dems as representing the best opportunity to counter the Southern Strategy of the Repubs.

    As best I can tell, there are many in the Dem party who would like to write off the South entirely as an electoral strategy. This would mean being able to throw out the influence of the Carters, the Gores and the Clintons. Of course, they can’t do this without replacement states to make up the votes. What they’re hoping is that they can cobble together enough Libertarians in the Mountain States and the border states, such as Virginia and Missouri, to re-draw the electoral map. Obama is the candidate that they chose to draw these voters into the Dem fold.

    The problem is that the big electoral votes are still in states where the voter demographics favor Clinton. IMO, the neo-Libertarians will do anything to stop Clinton in order to execute the first part of their strategy–including taking a loss in the GE, as long as they think they can pick up the congressional races. They’re trying to prove a point here, IMO, whether or not it means winning back the White House. There’s also a problem in that Libertarians are not Democrats, so we are seeing a fight not just for votes but for values. . . .

    My guess is that they believe it’s now or never, and that due to the state of the economy, the Iraq war/occupation and Bush’s approval ratings, this is the time for the coup.

    BTW, I do believe it is an attempt at an internal coup. IMO, the comments by Brazile were a slip-up in her anger–we weren’t supposed to know that we were being told to go to the back of the bus and stay there, at least not until November. However, now that the plan is out there, you have people like Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller extolling the virtues of the new, neo-Libertarian party, formerly known as the Democrats. Maybe they think we’ll change our minds once they tell us how wonderful everything is going to be under the new order. It’s Animal Farm redux, best I can tell.

    as an FDR/WJC dem, you can bet i’m pissed about this. if obama gets the nomination, i’m now certain that i’ll be voting for mccain.