Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another Great Day for West Virginia's Reputation

The Financial Times has an article up right now --linked to on Drudge-- about Obama's inability to win West Virginia.  To sum up the piece, Obama has no chance of prevailing here in the primary or the general election because West Virginia voters, and Democratic voters in the southern part of the state in particular, are racist hillbillies.  Unfortunately for our state's reputation, the reporter on the story found his way down to Mingo County (which is in the heart of southern West Virginia, for those not from our great state) , where he ran across more than one... well, racist hillbilly.  The beginning of the article:

Like most people in Mingo County, West Virginia, Leonard Simpson is a lifelong Democrat. But given a choice between Barack Obama and John McCain in November, the 67-year-old retired coalminer [sic] would vote Republican.

“I heard that Obama is a Muslim and his wife’s an atheist,” said Mr Simpson, drawing on a cigarette outside the fire station in Williamson, a coalmining [sic] town of 3,400 people surrounded by lush wooded hillsides.

Mr Simpson’s remarks help explain why Mr Obama is trailing Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, by 40 percentage points ahead of Tuesday’s primary election in the heavily white and rural state, according to recent opinion polls.

I opined a while ago that I didn't think Democrats in West Virginia were ready to vote for a black presidential candidate.  I took some flack for that argument because I didn't have any empirical data to back it up (a point that was well taken, as I later conceded).  The FT story doesn't really present any empirical evidence on the point either, but it certainly demonstrates that it's not hard to find a racist dumbass in Mingo County.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Well, I've been wrong before. But I still say it is more of a cultural/image issue than a race issue. (Although it is inconceivable that Sen. Clinton has been able to characterize her self as blue collar). Or, at least, according to the wonderful representative of the State interviewed, a Moslem/atheist issue. Either way, I suppose the State looks bad. Except for the Eastern Panhandle which remains, of course, God's country.