Mark, I really don't think Kentucky and WV are a very big deal. These states may have a majority of “Democrats”, but they are only Dems by tradition. Trust me on this one. I live on Chicago's Southside. A place not very different from parts of Appalachia in its voting patterns. You will recall when we were at Beloit, Harold Washington won the Democratic Primary in Chicago because Jane Byrne and Richie Daley split the white vote. When I returned home, half the people in my neighborhood (90% registerd Dem's) were walking around with a plain white button on. Nothing on it. Just a solid white field. Harold didn't bother campaining in my neighborhood. He focused on building coalitions with Hispanics and Northside liberals, and he went on to win the election by a very slim margin. Nothing like the 80/20 split that ethnic white Dems routinely win by in Chicago. My point is that Obama has an Appalachia problem. It isn't a blue-collar (or my favorite new euphemism...down-scale Democrat) problem. Look how well he did in Wisconsin. Also, for all of the tallk about Kentucky being blue-collar, demographically speaking, Oregon and Kentucky are very much alike. Very similar income ranges, education levels, etc. My point is that Obama is never going to surmount his Apalachia issue, becuase it is cultural. He also won't do very well on Chicago's white Southside or in Boston's Southie. So if he is smart about this, he will spend the money he has earmarked for that WV/Kentucky and spend it in the Mountain West and Southwest, because those Appalachian “Democrats” are like Southsiders in Chicago: Republicans for all practical purposes. In Kentucky, registered Democrats still outnumber Republicans by a wide margin (57%-36% as of 2006). But despite the party registration totals, Bush won the state 60%-40% against John Kerry in 2004. Obama isn't going anywhere with that crowd.Regards, Rich
Okay Rich, but then why did Hillary win? Wouldn't those people be as culturally alienated by a woman, especially HRC?That's the question - are there enough people in the potential coalition that Obama has to build to actually win an election? And can he afford to ignore the equivalent of your neighborhood on a national scale? Maybe he can - guess we'll find out. Are there enough Lincoln Park liberals (or their equivalent) in places like Missouri or Ohio to pull him through?
Mark, No. They aren't nearly as culturally alienated by a white woman as they are by a black man. Remember, at the time of the Dem primary that Washington won, Jane Byrne was Mayor of Chicago. Granted, that was partially due to heavy snow fall, but I really doubt that snow could cause Appalachia to vote a majority for a black man to be President. If I had to hazard a guess, I would be willing to bet that a good percentage of WV and Kentucky voters were motivated to vote against Obama much moreso than for Hillary.Lastly, on my Appalachia theme, polls between Obama and McCain in Ohio and Penn have already tightened dramatically. In fact, Obama is in front of McCain by 5 to 8 points in Penn, and has cut his lead to within a statistical tie in Ohio. So many of those die hard "give me Clinton or Give me McCain" Dems are already getting over Hillary's impeending demise. But I'll bet that isn't the case in the Appalachian corners of those states. Regards,Rich
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