Sure it’s a primary and not a general election, but in a year where the Republican brand has a lower approval rating than herpes it’s something to consider:

Barack Obama with just 26 percent of the Democratic votes 91,663.
John McCain with just 76 percent of all Republican votes 89,654.

More good news to consider.

Anne Barth is going to face Shelley Moore Capito.
At the WV GOP state convention in February, McCain finished a very distant 3rd. Mitt Romney was the favorite, but did not top 50 percent. So the McCain folks joined in with the Mike Huckabee people and the Ron Paul people who hadn’t left in disgust to give Huckabee a win.

While it’s easy to dismiss a GOP race where McCain is the only active candidate, there were actually many local races and issues that were highly active – a zoning vote in Berkeley County, for instance – that should have still brought Republican voters to the polls.

And they ended up giving the only active GOP candidate 76 percent of the vote.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as much as many like to dismiss Senator Clinton and West Virginia, she’s a hell of a lot better candidate than Senator McCain can ever hope to be on his best day. A big win by Senator Clinton in West Virginia over Senator Obama does not mean Obama cannot carry the state in the general election. Believing that is a discredit not just to West Virginians, but also to Senator Clinton. John McCain is no Hillary Clinton.

Let’s look at it another way: 357,031 Democrats and independents voted for candidates who want to bring the troops home from Iraq, make healthcare more affordable, and get the country on a different track; 89,654 Repubs and indies voted for more of the same.

Closer to home for me, a race I’ve invested much more time to, is what happened in WV-02 yesterday.

Anne Barth won over two Democratic challengers.

We’ve got a solid contender to take on Bush Republican Shelley Moore Capito.

With apologies in advance to David Letterman,

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From the home office in Paw Paw, West Virginia, here’s the Top 10 reasons on why you should support Anne Barth.

No. 10 – Anne’s been “Getting the Job Done” for West Virginia for the past 21 years working for Senator Byrd unlike Shelley Moore Capito, who after 8 years in Congress can’t list a single accomplishment.

No. 9 – Nick Rahall and Alan Mollohan endorsed Anne because they want someone who is hard working and effective to serve with them because whenever they call Shelley she’s busy serving as president of the George W. Bush Fan Club.

No. 8 – Anne is for “pay-as-you-go” balanced budgets while Shelley helped George W. Bush run up record federal deficits, blowing through money faster than Powerball winners on a road trip to casinos and strip clubs.

No. 7 – Anne wants our veterans to be able to go to high quality VA hospitals for their healthcare needs. Shelley wants them to go deploy on yet another tour of duty in Iraq.

No. 6 – Anne wants tax breaks for working families of West Virginia so they can take care of their children and send them to college. Shelley looks out for a special class of minorities, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans who are millionaires. Hey, someone’s got to look after their interests so they can buy all the caviar, yachts and multiple vacation homes they want.

No. 5 – Anne believes in improving West Virginia’s highways and bridges so they don’t fall down like in Minnesota. Shelley’s for spending money for new roads and bridges too – in Iraq.

No. 4 – Anne graduated from West Virginia University and her daughters are now Mountaineers too. Shelley attended Duke University just like her daughter now. Duke, possibly the most evil school in the NCAA during basketball season, appropriately is represented by a Satanic symbol.

No. 3 – West Virginia currently ranks 46* out of 50 in the Cutest Congressional Caucus Category. Anne’s election would singlehandledly put West Virginia in 1st Place.

No. 2 – Anne is for healthcare access for all. Shelley’s healthcare policy is healthcare for the rich, aspirins for everyone else.

No. 1 – Iraq.

More good news

Some commenters about West Virginia keep repeating a stereotyped view of Appalachia being too racist to vote for a presidential candidate who is African American named Barack Hussein Obama, that it has an “Obama problem.” I think that’s wrong. Yes, there are racists in West Virginia as there are in every other state. One is too many. But here’s something to consider: U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D, WV-03). That is southern West Virginia, the most Appalachian part of the state. Here’s something that you might not know about Mr. Rahall if you weren’t from here, but people here know.

Rep. Nick Joe Rahall II, West Virginia Democrat, Rahall has been a tireless champion of Arab American issues since arriving in D.C. in `76.


On domestic issues, Rahall has been a watchdog for the civil liberties of Arab Americans and others, bringing public attention to threats on those rights in cases from the Gulf War behavior of the FBI to current anti-terrorism legislation. [Rahall is] the dean of the Arab American caucus in Congress. (emphasis mine)

Mr. Rahall wins in landslides in the heart of Appalachia. He endorsed Obama and campaigned for him across the state. If Obama campaigns here with more appearances – and whether that’s a good use of his time for 5 electoral votes is another debate – I believe that once West Virginians get to know him, he’ll win them over.

That also ignores that in McDowell County, 88 percent white and 11 percent African American, in the heart of Appalachia, won his primary bid to the House of Delegates last night. He faced a white woman who had held the seat from 1993 to 2004. Amazing how those who claim “voters in Appalachia aren’t ready to vote for a Black candidate, even though in most of the rest of the country they are.” miss that they already do vote for an African American and will send him back to the statehouse for a third term. (Del. Clif Moore also made a couragous stand in the House Judiciary Committee against those eager to discriminate against gays in the last session, but that’s another story for another time.)

More good news.

Coal baron Don Blankenship’s good friend Spike Maynard lost his seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court. Sweet! win for justice

More good news


In about an hour, we’ll announce the blogs selected for the State Blogger Corps at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  Congratulations.  I’m writing to let you know that West Virginia Blue will be the credentialed blog from West Virginia.

The DNCC staff is ready to welcome you to Denver in August. We know that you’ll be the eyes and ears of a large audience back home.  As we’ve said, members of the State Blogger Corps will be seated alongside their delegations at the Convention.  You’ll literally have one of the best seats
in the house.  And we expect that you’ll share that up-front view with your online community of readers and other bloggers.  Together, we’ll make sure this Democratic Convention is seen and experienced online in more ways than ever before.

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