May 10, 2012
HOW THE FELON WON: Charles Mahtesian of the Politico on Keith Judd’s “unexpectedly” strong showing on Tuesday:
Whatever other forces may be at work in the Appalachian opposition to Obama — the role of race has been debated since his 2008 run — it’s clear the administration’s energy policies played a big role in the president’s lackluster performance.
Locally, it’s referred to as “the war on coal.”
Looking at the map, Judd’s strongest support came from southern West Virginia’s coal country, close by the Kentucky border.
The five coal counties that voted against Obama Tuesday also voted for Hillary Clinton by landslide margins in the 2008 primary.
That cluster includes the place that might be described as the epicenter of the Obama resistance: Mingo County.
Known as “Bloody Mingo” for its storied history of labor unrest and bloodshed surrounding the coal mining industry – the acclaimed John Sayles movie “Matewan” was based on events there in 1920 – the county disliked Obama even before he was elected president.
Clinton defeated him in there 88 percent to 8 percent, one of Obama’s worst primary drubbings in the nation in 2008. This time around, Mingo delivered what is certainly the president’s worst county-level defeat in 2012 – the inmate defeated the incumbent 60 percent to 40 percent.
Huh — can’t imagine why: