Why? “Honestly, because everybody in this county hates Barack Obama. That is the biggest reason,” Mitchell said.
Animosity toward President Obama runs high here. He lost Wyoming County by nearly 56 percentage points last year, despite the fact that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1.
But as Mitchell and her friends talked more about it, their conversation turned to fears and anxieties that had little to do with party or politics. They discussed the well-paying jobs that had vanished with the coal industry; the crime and drugs that followed; the changing culture that mocks what they hold sacred.[...]
West Virginia exists as a state because it broke away from Virginia in 1863 and refused to join the confederacy. From Franklin D. Roosevelt’s era until the 2000 election, it was among the most reliably Democratic states, one of only six that Jimmy Carter carried in 1980, and 10 that Michael S. Dukakis won in 1988.
But in the past decade or so, “West Virginia has realigned politically with the Deep South, at least in presidential elections,” historian John Alexander Williams said in a June lecture in Charleston marking the state’s 150th anniversary. “Between the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, a time when voters were trending strongly Democratic in other parts of the nation, 366 of official Appalachia’s 410 counties increased their Republican share of presidential votes.”
In 2012, that trendline cut more deeply. Obama lost the seven West Virginia counties he had carried in 2008. It marked the first time that a major party’s presidential candidate suffered a 55-county shutout.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Democrats seem to have lost West Virginia...
worth reading in it's entirety.