Thursday marked the release of a chock-full-of-data Pew Research poll, and the attention that a stat tucked away on page 16 has garnered brought this week’s media chatter – the idle speculation over how much a continued Democratic presidential nomination battle might hinder the eventual nominee in November – to a deafening pitch. (To counter this conventional “wisdom,” let’s invoke WaPo’s incomparable Dan Balz)
The poll’s findings indicate that, thanks to the bad blood between the Obama and Clinton camps, around a quarter of each candidate’s supporters will refuse to support the other candidate, potentially defecting to presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. Of course, both sides are jumping all over this tidbit to argue that their opponent is the one who will dampen Dem turnout or drive their base to the GOP. Some commentators are putting a cultural slant on this notion. The Washington Examiner’s political editor, Chris Stirewalt relishes the irony that this Democratic primary season’s unlikely key demographic, Appalachia’s Scots-Irish “Hillbilly Firewall,” may well sustain HRC – that product of Wellesley and affluent Midwestern suburbs reborn as the coal miner’s champion - through the rest of the primary season. Not only in
HRC’s has performed well in
Note the uncanny overlap of these maps:
HRC racked up her biggest percentage in Appalachian Southwestern Virginia.
But this part of
And while George Wallace’s 1968 campaign expanded his base from the “Black Belts” of the
As for John McCain sweeping up this region, well, even though by the time Old Dominion’s primary rolled around, he was widely regarded the eventual nominee,