As someone who has followed Manchin for several years (although I voted for the Mountain Party candidate in the last election, Jesse Johnson) I have to say I am kind of surprised he has gone as far as he has trashing national Democrats. This ad was absurd and obscene:
Nate Silver has a long analysis up on Manchin, and a bunch of you are yelling that Manchin should be defeated to “teach him a lesson.” I’d kindly ask you to go to hell if that is your attitude. Manchin is definitely running to the right in this election, and will be a pain in the ass on issues I care about, but Raese would be a disaster. I could understand this sentiment if there were any Democrats waiting in the wings to challenge Raese in 2012, but Ken Hechler is approaching 100, and if Manchin loses, we could be looking at a GOP senator in Byrd’s seat for a long, long time.
Manchin may not be covering himself with glory, but Raese would be a disaster. I know which way I am voting.
And you really need to understand the changes WV has been going through. When you think GOP, you think white and old. That also describes WV, which has one of the oldest populations in the country. Bush won here in 2000 and 2004. McCain took it in 2008. Shelly Capito won her seat in 2004 (I think), the first Republican Rep that I remember. WV is slowly becoming a red state (or already is) so you have to choose between a blue dog or a Republican. That simple.
*** Update ***
Here are the county by county results from the 2008 election:
I think Kanawha and Mon. county were the only blue for WV.
How does that shit sandwich taste, Mr. Cole? Does it stick to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter? Do you find yourself gagging on the stench?
@Joe Beese: Name the progressive candidate you “results oriented” activists got onto the ballot so that I have a third option.
Oh, yeah. Shut the fuck up, Beese.
why don’t you fuck off, Joe Beese? Srsly. I’m tired of you.
Oh my, Ken Hechler is still around? I had an internship in his office for a few weeks, for credit, when I was in undergrad. He already seemed old as the hills then (this was in the late seventies), and he was one of the kindest and smartest people I’d ever met. I wish he could be around for another hundred years. At least.
Mr. Beese has to ask about the smell of anything, having cut off his nose to spite his face.
The question is, is the country better served by a Blue Dog or a Republican? (Edited to add the point: I meant to say is the country better served by a Blue Dog or a Republican _in the long term_?)
I know John’s answer. (Although it probably shades closer to ‘it depends’ than I reflexively imagine.) And I’m usually on board with that: I think that _every_ decision in life is one in which we should choose ‘the lesser of two evils.’ In fact, I think ‘the lesser of two evils’ means exactly the same thing as ‘the greater of two goods.’
But politically-speaking, at some point having members of the caucus who attack the undermine the ‘brand’ (excuse the term) from within is probably more detrimental than having outsiders do the same thing.
Senators do more than vote. I don’t think we need to ‘teach Manchin a lesson.’ I don’t give a shit about Manchin. But I _do_ think we need to ensure that being a Democrat _means_ something. From what I’ve read about this race, I hope Manchin wins–and is treated by the national Party the same way he treats them. Be neat if the party rewarded good behavior and punished bad. Freakishly un-Democratic, but neat.
IOW, same as most of the choices we got going this go-round. Here in my Congressional district fer sure.
WV seems culturally like a Southern state where most people never bothered to change party registration. Manchin looks pretty shameless from where I sit, but I’m not sure what else he’s supposed to do in a state where Obama’s approval rating is like negative 20 billion percent.
Even if he were Ben Nelson, and I’m confident he will be better than that, I would still gladly take him over a nutjob like Raese who says getting rid of the estate tax is a key component of his economic plan.
Manchin will be another Mark Pryor. Not wonderful, but about a million times better than the alternative. Unless someone can think of a way to boost the collective IQ of this country, we’ll have to deal with this type of thing. I tend to be more disgusted with the public than with the politicians of either party, but that’s just me.
I sympathize with you, John. My own little area of the FSM’s little green earth is turning as red as a fire engine and there is nothing I can do to stem the tide in the short term (or until the population here stops averaging out at about age 62). I am appalled that I will vote for Jason Altmire in November and it galls me every time I think about it. But then I think about the other choice, Keith Rothfus, and I know what I have to do.
WV is going to be red for a long time. Teatards strong there, they are. Plus, Republicans will let the coal companies do WTF they want, and coal companies are likely dropping 10’s of millions into the races to ensure that.
Citz Uni will be the death of democracy.
I was born in WV, many years ago, more or less by fluke (both my parents were from Brooklyn, we’ve lived in NY most of our lives, but for the first few years they were married — incl. my birth — my father worked for the IRS in Charleston). I’ve watched with dismay as the state, which had been staunchly Dem for so long (voting for Dukakis, Stevenson once, Carter both times), has slipped into red territory (the shift from 1988 to now is shocking, conisdering the rest of the country has tilted the other way). It shows that the GOP is becoming a strictly rural identity party — the state is still as economically disadvantaged as it ever was, but the god/gays/guns thing has won it states like WV.
I’m very disappointed Dems like Manchin have elected to trash health care, but I presume they’ve concluded the miasma of lies around the program — combined with Fear of the Black Man — make it impossible to run on reality this cycle. Like you, I’d vote for him despite this, simply because it’s a vote for Harry Reid over Mitch McConnell (or even Jim DeMint).
So, was Manchin an idiot to push for the election this year? Couldn’t he have done the interim appointment and then run in ’12, when the full Dem voting age population would be out? Why did he knowingly put himself into the most vulnerable cycle?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Well, I’m not hoping he loses, but I’m not gonna send him any money, either.
WVa is also one of the poorest states, no? All those old white people on SS and Medicare, all those coal miners who vote to make their jobs more dangerous (frequently lethal) because they can’t imagine any other way to earn a living, all those people voting against their own economic self-interest because of boogeymen who want to take their guns and bibles, they will be represented in the Senate by a guy who brags that he got his money “the old-fashioned way. I inherited it.” And a Rockefeller.
Helluva fuckin’ world, ain’t it?
One of the few things I agree with Kos on is the concept of electing Democrats first, then better Democrats. Same applies here. I’d rather have 59 ineffectual Dems than 59 Reps running us into the ground.
I wouldn’t begrudge anyone living in WV voting for Manchin, but he doesn’t deserve any money from the national party (although I’m sure he’s getting plenty). He wants to run a campaign trashing the party, fine. But if he wins I hope he doesn’t show up in DC, expecting Obama donors to whip out their credit cards for him.
Cole, your thinking is suspect. There are progressives in WVA and they will vote Democrat. A full-throated, progressive Democrat can and will win there, even as the state trends red. You just don’t understand the American people like I do.
The way to win is simple and I don’ understand why you and all the BJ sellouts don’t follow the plan. All you need to do is click your heels three times, pet the magical unicorn and capture the leprechaun guarding the pot of progressive gold votes at the end of the rainbow. You’re worse than the GOP, I tell ya.
But if he gets elected, we should count on him to variably (or inevitably) disappoint, like a Nelson, Lincoln, Bayh, etc.?
BTW, those county things are always horribly misleading.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
I hear you. Missouri’s similar in the “white, old and increasingly red” demographic.
Of course when I lived in WV, I was in the perpetually red Eastern Panhandle so what WV is turning into is what we were 30 years ago.
In two years, I’ll be faced with the same dilemna with our shittastic “Dem” senator McCaskill. I won’t lift a finger to help her and she sure as shit won’t get my money but assuming she doesn’t get primaried out of existence, I’ll reluctantly pull the lever for her.
“But politically-speaking, at some point having members of the caucus who attack the undermine the ‘brand’ (excuse the term) from within is probably more detrimental than having outsiders do the same thing.”
Yes, it is, and it would be better if we had some alternative Democrat running in WV who would not trash the party.
That said, I have three words for anyone who actually hopes that people like Manchin lose:
Majority Leader McConnell.
Whatever else Manchin might do, he will vote for a Democrat for Majority Leader. And that’s very, very important.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@danimal: You forgot the 2,000 word blog post, photoshopped witticisms optional, that demonstrates that Obama is Worse Than Bush because he keeps pretending that Congress has to vote on legislation.
Seven counties went for Obama in 2008, about two less than went for Kerry in 2004.
Capito won in 2000 and has easily won re-election in every race since including those backed by the DCCC. I was surprised she was not primaried from the right this cycle, but I suspect she will be in 2012 if she doesn’t run for Senate or governor. (I suspect she won’t because she’s rather safe in her seat and not one to take any risks.)
I consider myself a broken glass Democrat, meaning I’d crawl over broken glass to vote for the D, but I don’t like the fact Manchin seems to be breaking the glass in my path to make it more painful for me to vote for him.
Manchin is doing a terrible job campaigning in my honest opinion and has blown what should have been the safest race for Dems in the country.
I’m working on coming up with a graphic of a clothespin with Vote Manchin on it for those of us who have to hold our noses to pull the lever for him.
Is Manchin his nickname too? Cuz it’s a hell of one for guy running on guns and other faux tuff stuff.
It will definitely be the death of WV if the coal (and gas fracking) companies get what they want. The amount of distruction that modern demand for energy and modern technology applied to ‘cheap’ extraction would inflict.
I’m just hoping that this stuff doesn’t happen upstate, hopefully NYC will be willing to sue the crap out of everyone to protect the water supply.
And more on topic; a Blue Dog is better than a Republican in both the long and short term. Not because the policies that the Blue Dogs support are so great, but because just the basic control of the Senate is so important for determining policy. There is all the world of difference between 51 dems and 51 repubs. Even the issue of long term damage to the direction of the Democratic party, which is a valid concern, is of secondary importance to keeping out of power the brand of crazy that the Republicans are supporting. The damage that the Republicans seem willing to cause pretty much trumps everything else.
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage: Comrade, what part of the EP did you hail from?
On the good news, Jefferson and Berkeley are trending more blue and Ds outnumber Rs at the last count. Still makes it hard to get rid of some of the entrenched rightwingers. I hear in Charleston even the Republicans would like to see teabaggers Craig Blair and Jonathan Miller lose because they’re such ideologues.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
It always comes back to “more Dems” as opposed to “better Dems”. We’re far closer to the former rather than the latter.
Even so, having Dem Senators that, in effect, kill legislation just as well as the asshats across the aisle, makes it oh so hard to, oh, I dunno, get enthusiastic about them.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Have we “met” over at Teh Orange? In C&J? This is ringing a bell.
I graduated from MHS (where I was dragged kicking and screaming to in 1976) in 1979 and got the fuck out before the ink was dry on the diploma.
Still have close family ties in the ‘Burg (my grumpy, insane mother wants to go back there to live with her 90 year old sister). Family ancestors in general go back in Jefferson County to the time of dirt.
I’m assuming the blue trend in those two counties stems from the cancerous growth of the Northern VA burbs out that far. Tis amazing how Rt 9 has changed in 25 years going up “over the mountain” from VA to WV.
I now return everybody to our regularly scheduling bitchfest about shitty Democratic candidates for Senator.
John, I hope Manchin wins, not because I like him, but because I think too much is at stake if Repubs control the Senate. However, if he loses, we’ve got several strong candidates in the wings, including my fave Secretary of State, Natalie Tennant.
I’m not sure where all of you live, but where I am in the heart of Flyover Country, there’s just no such thing as a “safe Dem” seat as I can see it. People are just pissed about govt, economy, etc. and would vote out George Brett, the Pope, and Jesus if they were Dem Sens. Hence my very unpopular prediction that the GOP’s going to take both houses, easily.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
This. He wants my scratch, he can do a damn better job being a Democrat.
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage: I can’t speak for anyone else, but Carnacki has been at the GOS for a long, long time. I can’t remember, but I think he’s in the 22k range and I was in the 24k range of UID’s. Do you/did you post over there as CSAOR?
All I have to say is that I’m not exactly missing the state at this point. The way the state has seemingly gone full tilt red since the sharp decline of Unions and the advent of the full-on ‘God and Guns’ contingent there just…ugh. I have killed enough braincells banging my head against a wall over the national stuff, the locals would send me to an institution.
As far as Manchin, the fact that, for all that total and utter bullshit, he’s still only the lesser of two evils should be depressingly telling.
Not in WV, but he better win. The damage his commercials are doing to Dems outside WV far exceeds any that bloggers have caused.
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage:
That rings a bell now. I blame my memory issues on my drinking, but it’s probably all the concussions.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
I’ve written and ranted for years about the alarming similarities between MO and WV or as I put it “Appalachia is a state of mind.”
This state is far redder than everybody, including most Dems in this state, realize. And the Dem “leadership” here are clueless, hidebound, rice-bowl protecting, feckless bastards.
Robyn Carnahan got the largest vote count of any Dem ever in a statewide race and yet, one of the worst, entrenched wingnuts this state has to offer is gonna trounce her next month. It speaks volumes for the electorate here and how Dems don’t know how to effectively campaign statewide for federal office.
Death Panel Truck
I wouldn’t call a Democratic candidate who goes on Fox News to declare he supports repeal of the Affordable Care Act anywhere near “a million times better” than the Republican candidate.
I don’t hope he loses. I just know he’s going to lose. He’s running away from the Democratic Party, hoping no one will notice. Blue Dogs are nothing but DINOs. Harry Truman once said that when people have a choice between electing a real Republican and a fake Republican, they’ll pick the real Republican every time.
See that little blue speck in lower right-hand part of Kansas. Thats us with our own little liberal sanctuary. Its also no wonder why we’re in one of the most poor areas of the state. Repubs avoid our county like the plague.
The problem all red-state Democrats face is the proper way of distinguishing themselves from the national party. Sounds like Manchin is running as a mainstream WV Democrat. How far beyond that should we be expecting him to go?
ETA: In other words, these are tactics that don’t match up well with what I want as a liberal who doesn’t live in WV, but it seems like they probably match up fairly well with the kinds of Democrats that actually exist in WV. John and others would know more than I do about that, of course.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
@Death Panel Truck:
Clearly McCaskill’s never read that quote. She’s gonna get trounced in 2 years because rurl Dems hate their Senators who are essenitally wind vanes and independents because of the Truman quote.
Again, the only way to affect change is to beat such Dems harder than shit in the primary and if they emerge from that, they typically emerge a bit more, um Dem, than when they went into it.
Hold nose, pull lever.
Oh teh damagez! Who sees these commercials outside of WV, other than activists who read political blogs? Joe and Martha are not sitting around the kitchen table in Montana watching the local news reporting on Joe Manchin’s ad and switching their votes to R because a D from West Virginia is running against the health care bill.
Proudly blue in NE Minn!
Although, you’d never know it was that blue from our area conservatives ranting in the newspapers and the bumper stickers on beatup pickups or the pricey vehicles of well-off retired summer residents.
Got into this on Twitter w. Oliver Willis. As John says, this is a no-brainer: a GOP led Senate ensures the acceleration of what we thought was bad during the Bush years.
And anyway, while Manchin may be no prize, we won’t have Lincoln to kick around anymore. Call it a wash.
I saw them in NY. Heard them on the radio too. All in the context that even Dems were running from Obama.
One thing you can say about the left. At least they’re not cutting commercials saying they’ll kill HIR. That would be the conservadems.
This is what I find so utterly frustrating and upsetting. Has there been another time when such a significant number of a party’s candidates were explicitly campaigning against their own party and president?
@thomas Levenson: Yeah, I saw where Cole’s good friend Owillis is now a fucking firebagger.
@Kryptik: There are more of them (conservative Democrats) than ever before because of two big winning cycles in 2006 and 2008. This is what they do: they run as Democrats who aren’t like those intrusive, socia1stic Democrats you’ve heard about on the radio. I don’t know about “explicitly,” but Democratic candidates started taking “Democrat” off their signs and literature in the 1990s, based on the same theory that being identified with the patchouli-scented national Democrats would crush their chances, so they had better run instead as no-nonsense, common-sense, unlabeled generic effective politicians from the discount bin.
Death Panel Truck
Wow. That ad’s a disaster. Dude’s gone full metal wingnut. I’d hate to have to vote for that spineless, pandering asshole.
I’m glad I don’t have that problem. Out here in Washington state, we actually have real Democrats like Patty Murray. I don’t have to hold my nose and vote for the fake Republican.
But in what way is this different from a WV Republican?
After all, I don’t think the national party is the opposition on the ballot opposite Manchin’s name on November 2. His opposition is an actual Republican. And normally, a candidate would run for something or be opposed to the other candidate who is actually on the ballot.
Yeah, I know about the labelless candidates and all that, which isn’t exactly a Dem phenomenon in and of itself. I’m just wondering about the comparison to now, where you have what feels like at least a quarter of Dem candidates nationwide fullthroatedly campaigning against their own party and all the usual ‘liberal boogeymen’ like Pelosi and Obama.
I mean…between that and the current actions of our Congress, I’ve literally lost all hope of any reasonably liberal legislation actually getting through within my lifetime, at least not watering down in a way that would make homeopaths jealous.
I’m starting to think liberals will never understand that the only way they will get to pass progressive legislation in this country is as part of a coalition.
@Kryptik: Yeah — in 1994.
The real problem with the Democratic party is, too many of them came of age during the Reagan era. That was an anomalous time. In almost all previous political realignments, the presidency and Congress were synchronous. The fact that the South remained Dem Congressionally all those early Reagan years even while swinging entirely GOP at the presidential level created this whole “I must run against my party” culture.
The problem is, that was then — a GOP era. This is now — the public (on the whole) prefers Dem solutions. But those representing those sectors of the country have so legitimized the GOP critique of national Dems that they’re unable or afraid to try and reverse the narrative. This same thing occurred in the Clinton era; Dems ran away from him at every opportunity. Now that he’s gone, they speak of him as being mystically in touch with average Americans.
Dems treat their presidents (post-Kennedy) the way Phillies fans treated Mike Schmidt. While he was active, Schmidt was a choker always falling short of his promise. After the fact, he was the greatest third baseman in history.
I think Raese’s been running for office in WV since I went to college in the mid-80’s. Has he ever actually won a race? IIRC, his family owns a pile of radio stations in the Mountain State. That can’t hurt.
Well, that’s a depressing parallel then. Does this mean we should expect another 12 years of nearly unimpeded Republican dominance in the Congress, with continued Dem fecklessness?
It’s less that than it is creating a coalition made up of at least a third of folks who will turn tail and run to vote with the other side either out of political calculation or pure spite.
Meanwhile, Republicans seem to get a coalition for everything because apparently the country’s hate liberals and Democrats outweighs the naked intellectual bankruptcy of the Republicans.
Personally, I can’t believe that someone who represent WV from his mansion in Palm Beach is actually within striking distance.
BTW, Kanawwwww County went McCain.
I saw this ad first thing yesterday a.m. Halperin loved it! It made me sorta sad.
@Kryptik: The best way to offset the “Democrats being elected is always a typographical error” mindset of the Blue Dogs and the press is for Dems to do better than expected in the election three weeks from now. The entire narrative of the past year has been that Obama over-reached — a ludicrous assertion, but there it is — and that voters will be righting the ship on November 2nd. If that doesn’t happen — certainly seats will be lost, but if Dems hold both houses — someone will need to notice we’ve been living on a bogus narrative that whole time.
Should this not come to pass…I’m afraid Dem fecklessness will be unavoidable (though many of those most susceptible to the narrative will be the ones un-elected, so maybe it won’t be as noticeable). But, no, I don’t see 12 years of this, because in 2012 the presidential-year Dem turnout will take back a number of the lost seats. (Even some pollsters predicting a blowout three weeks hence have acknowledged that likelihood)
We’ll see. If the last two years or so have shown me anything though, it’s that Democrats could be God and still be demonized, while Republicans can nominate an inanimate carbon rod and be praised for their utter genius both in media and in poll.
@Carnacki: I live in one of those seven counties, proud to have carried at least our little part of the state for Obama. And the WV electoral map probably would have looked much more blue (though perhaps still have gone for McCain) if Hillary had either gotten the nomination or the Veep-ship; she was very popular here.
I agree w/Carnacki that there’s some blue developing – starting with the two panhandles and sloooooooowly trickling south. But as long as we’re captive to King Coal, the “pro-business” Rethugs will always do well.
And yet also unfortunately long-lived, almost as though they were undead.
Cripes, that’s a weird ad, made triply weird that it’s from a purported Democrat. I presume he’s not playing eleven-dimension chess taking aim at cap & trade because it’s originally a Republican invention.
Cole, you live in a very, very odd place. “Almost heathen…”
Marion co.’s stayed blue through each of the last Pres. elections. I’m not sure, but it may be the only co. in WV that has. Surprisingly, I believe that Mon. co. went to Bush in ’04.
John Cole – 2012
It wasn’t good enough for Stupak to vote with the Dems on every issue except for abortion; so I don’t see why forgiving anyone else is allowed.
Oh, and the Republican is only running at 87% for that seat on 538 now. Thanks inter-left! We didn’t need Stupak’s votes on jobs or protecting the Great Lakes anyway!
John – in saying how Red WVa is you used the 2008 Obama election which is confounded by the white racist
“hill billy” vote. For white Democratic candidates I assume this comes less into play unless they have been tarred by Obama.
Take a look at the 2008 New York Times interactive map.
[ the spam filter doesn’t like something. Google “”President Map – Election Results 2008 – The New York Times”” to find the map]
First, click the “Voting shifts” box on the left. The map now displays the presidential voting difference between 2008 and 2004. Note that the red areas (fewer votes for Obama than Kerry) are mainly hill billy land – the Appalachians and Ozarks.
So in hill billy land, 2008 is not a good indication of base DEM/REP leanings.
A better picture of WVa leanings is probably the 2004 Kerry/Bush election, or earlier years.
1) Click “County Leaders”.
2) Click WVa to zoom onto it.
Then under Year click “08” to “92” to see the county presidential results for each election.
Leave Mitt Romney aloooooonnnnnnneeee!
And I’m surprised you’re surprised.
In truth, I think there are Democrats who do more damage to Democrats and liberal/progressive principles and policies than Republicans do. In this ad, Manchin sounds like one.
God, I’m glad I don’t live in West Virginia.
I call bullshit on your racism allegation unless you’re also claiming EVERY white voter in the United States is a hillbilly racist because the white vote in Appalachia was statistically the same as the white vote nationally and white John Kerry lost West Virginia by the same amount as the black Barack Obama. You’re a bigot who stereotypes Appalachian Americans.
But Obama outperformed Kerry almost everywhere else. I don’t think your argument proves what you think it proves. By the way, “Appalachian American” reads like a parody of actual demographic terms.
No, Appalachian American reads like another minority that is stereotyped.
Nate Silver did an analysis after the election that showed the entire racism claims were overblown because the white vote in WV were the same as the white vote nationally, a point you ignore because facts get in the way of your stereotyping.
I presume you didn’t even look at the map I sort of linked to, much less address its data.
The main parts of the US that voted less for Obama in 08 than they did for Kerry in 04 are the Appalachians and Ozarks. These areas are mainly poor and white.
I’m sure in other parts of the US there were some white groups who voted less for Obama than Kerry for racial reasons, but those areas are more diverse. Other groups there more than compensated for the white racist vote.
Of course in many parts of the US white people don’t vote Democratic so it is hard to tease out any racial influence.
You have presented no data, much less linked to it, to counter this interpretation.
Now that is some funny shit. Quality spoof.
I’ve looked at the data and it is you who fail to address the fact white voters nationally voted for Obama at the same level as white voters in West Virginia. You presume motive of voters with no data to back up your interpretation other than your own bigoted stereotype and you give yourself away with the derogatory term of “hillbilly.” I guess you think all white voters nationally are hillbillies then.
at least to me, this is a topic that generates lots of heat but no light, mainly because people seem unwilling to untangle two ideas.
1. from a purely procedural point, since the Rs have figured out that collapsing the government is a good play for them, it will probably* be better in the short term for the general public if the Ds retain what control they can in the federal government. ergo, one must hold one’s nose and vote D.
2. Ds have demonstrated fairly conclusively over the last two years that on issues that matter to the corporate kleptocracy & national security they are essentially no different from the Rs. consequently, while keeping Ds in office is a useful (read: less bad) stopgap, real reform will have to come from somewhere other than the established parties. it may be an outsider, a third party, or an assortment of initiatives; i don’t pretend to know where, whether, or even if.
that said, i don’t see the point in criticizing “progressives” who tried and failed to come up with better alternatives within the conventional setting. so long as they return to the fold on Election Day (viz., vote D) what is the point of attacking them?
*i still think the best visualization of this was a comment here stating that with McCain the angle of glide downwards for the US would be 90% and with Obama it would be 70%. seems a fairly accurate read, IMO, and i would give credit if i could find it again.
@Catsy: Really? Because the fact derogatory terms like “hillbilly” can be applied by people outside of the group without a sense of shame proves my point.
There’s only one West Virginia resident with enough personal popularity to run to the left of Manchin and win, and Brad Paisley doesn’t seem to be interested.
There’s a better view of West Virginia by county here. Obama’s biggest drop from Kerry’s performance was in the southwestern portion of the state, formerly the most Democratic.
Carnacki, I agree with you about whites during the election. That being said, I think racism is so much worse in WV now than before the election. People watch
Glen Beck and hear him say Obama hates white people, he’s a Muslim, etc. During the campiagn John McCain somewhat kept a lid on things, like not using his middle name. After the election it was no holds barred.
I don’t know if Manchin can be counted on for anything. He will have to run again in two years.
You have never addressed the primary data other that to loudly assert with no evidence that it is not true.
I found what you might be referring to at fivethirtyeight.com (its-not-about-appalachia) but it was not written by Nate Silver, but instead by Andrew Gelman. In the comments (which I can only see in the Google cache version) many people point out that Gelman’s analysis is worthless because he is comparing apples to oranges.
If you want to know what Nate Silver thinks about hill billy racism watch his 2009 TED talk: Does race affect votes?.
He said there was a sizable racist component in “highland” (his term for hill billy) voting, 20-30% comparing Obama to Clinton. He then showed that the main correlations that explained this were:
1) Low level of education.
2) Lack of any racially different neighbors.
You however will continue to believe what you wish Nate Silver said.
@monkeyboy: West Virginia was a reliably democratic state for many years, but over the past 40 years it has gotten older, whiter and less union. In 1970, the population of McDowell county was over 100,000, mostly union coal miners. Today, there aren’t 10,000 people in the whole county. It takes very few (and mostly non-union) people to operate a strip mine, and that is what you have now instead of 1000-2000 union miners of all ethnicities working a deep mine. West Virginia used to be a diverse working class state. All that’s left are the dumb white rednecks.
As a native of McDowell, I believe the decline of the County and the cause of progress in the State match up well. We’ve lost our link with the past and forgotten Mother Jones and Matewan and the rest. Even as my Dad voted for Goldwater and pursued his engineering career, he still talked of the days of “Which side are you on?”