Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Surprises in Kentucky and Arkansas Primaries for Democrats

Just when you thought the primaries were just a formality and didn't matter anymore, something interesting happens.
President Obama didn't have an opponent in Kentucky, so you would except him to win by a fairly large margin, right? But no! Instead, he only took 57.9% of the vote. Everyone else was "uncommitted."  And that was how his own party felt about him!
And he didn't do much better in Arkansas either. With 70% of the votes in, he only had 59% of the vote. He did face a challenger in Arkansas. A man named John Wolfe, an attorney from Tennessee whose platform includes repealing “Obamacare.” Wolfe took 41% of the vote and was able to win several counties.
Mitt Romney did slightly better in his own primaries, but not much better. He took 67% of the vote in Kentucky, (Ron Paul took 13%), and 69% in Arkansas. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum each took 13%. Even Newt Gingrich did better in Arkansas than he did in many states when he was actively campaigning. He got 5% of the vote.
What does this mean for November? 
Obama has had a difficult time winning even the Democrats in the more conservative states. (Let's not forget the 43% of Democrats in West Virginia who voted for the currently imprisoned felon over the POTUS.) He only took 30% of the primary in Kentucky in 2008, and 26% of Arkansas in 2008. But overall, this probably doesn't mean anything for November. Obama was never going to win those two states, and now we have more proof to support that theory. 
But here's the catch- Kentucky is historically a blue state. So why don't they like Obama more? The Washington Post's The Fix addresses that question today with "Is it racism?" The article is worth a read. 

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