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Monday, October 10, 2011

An Obama Tomblin Conundrum?

Earl Ray Tomblin, courtesy of iwasaround via flickr

Earl Ray Tomblin recently won the special gubernatorial election in West Virginia, a race that was "hotly contested" yet saw little voter turnout.  Tomblin won by less than 8,000 votes, however only 289,256 people voted in West Virginia.  Pathetic turnout for less-than-desireable candidates.

WV Metro News released an article with quotes from the state's Democratic Party chairman claiming that Tomblin will have not be affected by Obama's candidacy when running for re-election in 2012 (Tomblin's term only lasts until November 2012).

The state Democrat Party's Chairman says he's confident West Virginia's Democrat candidates will run strong in 2012, despite have President Barack Obama's name at the top of the ticket.
"Right now, his message and what he is working towards is not selling well here," Larry Puccio admits.
Obama is pretty damn unpopular in West Virginia.  In fact, the only state he is less popular in is Wyoming according to the article.  However, Ear Ray Tomblin's survival depends not on Obama at all or the fact that he is a Democrat.

This election was very close, a mere 8,000 votes separating the two candidates.  Why is this?  Awful Republican candidates.  This is the story of elections in West Virginia, and will soon be the echoing ballad of the 2012 Presidential race.  Democrats survival depends on the republican candidates, and how much they shoot themselves in the foot.

Take Joe Manchin for example.  He wasn't such a bad candidate for Senate in West Virginia, and had pretty decent polling as governor approval.  The republican he ran against, John Raese, was a train wreck.  His lavish houses in Florida, ridiculous lectures about lasers, etc. ultimately sealed his fate entirely.  Earl Ray Tomblin was the same way

A campaign staffer for Tomblin mentioned to me at one point that their campaign focused on jobs, lower taxes, and making him look remotely appealing.  Nobody was genuinely excited about the "change" that ERT would bring, but more about how they didn't want Maloney in the governor's seat.

Tomblin's re-election has little to do with Obama.  West Virginians don't associate him with the President, and most aren't gullible enough to believe the stuff Maloney and other republicans say about his ties to Obama.  No, the only thing that matters is the republican candidate running against him.  If he's remotely appealing, ERT might lose his seat.


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