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Why Do Appalachians Love Clinton and Hate Obama?
New York Magazine ^ | 2/24 | Jonathan Chait

Posted on 02/24/2014 1:00:01 PM PST by nickcarraway

In Kentucky, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is running even or slightly behind in polls for reelection, despite the state’s heavily Republican lean. The central dynamic of the race concerns whether the Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, can distance herself from President Obama. McConnell is painting Grimes as Obama’s puppet, while Grimes is instead attaching herself to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are far more popular in the state. Why is that? Here, in today’s Washington Post, is an odd passage explaining Clinton’s popularity vis-à-vis Obama: While President Obama’s approval rating in Kentucky is in the mid-30s, Bill Clinton — with his southern roots and love of college basketball and horse racing — is popular in the Bluegrass State, which he carried in both of his presidential elections.

That’s why Clinton runs so far ahead of Obama? Horse racing and college basketball? Obama loves college basketball. He makes a huge public show of it, filling out his bracket every year on national television and granting interviews during the NCAA tournament.

One reason for Clinton’s popularity is that all ex-presidents tend to gain favor as they recede from the partisan infighting of day-to-day politics and position themselves as revered elder statesmen. But the other reason Clinton could always compete in Kentucky while Obama never could is one that does not appear anywhere in the Post story: race.

Six years ago, in the midst of a still-heated contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, George Packer traveled to Kentucky, where voters there registered surprisingly candid reasons for their support for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. The mere fact that Kentuckians would endorse Clinton (whose base within the Party leaned heavily on the white working class) was the opposite of surprising. What shocked about Packer’s report was, first, the explicitly racial tone of the opposition. Voters were not bothering to couch their disdain for Obama in euphemisms about affirmative action or crime or even Jeremiah Wright. They were saying things like, “I think [Obama] would put too many minorities in positions over the white race.” Nearly as surprising was the fact that, despite such beliefs, they were willing to vote for Democrats anyway.

In his decisive 2008 win, Obama obviously improved on John Kerry’s losing 2004 performance overall. But across a small band of counties concentrated in the Deep South and Appalachia, he actually performed worse than Kerry, despite running a good five points better nationwide:

I suppose you could attribute the difference to “culture,” with Obama representing elite academic urban America, but it’s not as if Kerry cut the figure of a prototypical Regular Joe. The difference is also hard to explain via other easy regional touchstones, like guns or coal, given that Obama was no more pro-environment or anti-gun than Kerry, and his opponent, John McCain, was hostile to the NRA and favorable to cap and trade. It’s hard to come up with any explanation to rival what Packer found — race.

Reporters approach this reality with varying levels of delicacy. The accusation of East Coast elitism always hangs unspoken, so it can be easier to attribute the unusually intense hostility to Obama in the region to his implied lack of enthusiasm for college basketball than to his skin color. But Jason Zengerle’s great profile of McConnell laid the dynamic perfectly bare:

“We are still a racist state, I hate to admit it,” says the Kentucky GOP strategist. “Anything you can connect to Barack Obama is a winning thing for us.” Or, as a prominent Kentucky Democrat puts it: “The only way they can beat [Grimes] is to paint her skin a different color than it is and make her gender a different gender than it is. They’re going to have to make her Barack Obama.

Sam Youngman – the journalist who briefly commanded attention with a putatively confessional essay explaining his move from Washington to Lexington – actually assailed Zengerle’s source for admitting this in public:

And to be sure, Kentucky is not a “racist state” in the sense that everybody in it is racist. But race is a central dynamic, and the outcome of the election will turn in large part on whether Grimes can appeal to white Democrats who don’t want to support an African-American. (Probably many of these voters are the same ones who love the state’s new health-care law but hate Obamacare.) It’s also a reality that is too uncomfortable for many observers to actually state.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: Kentucky; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: bho44; bubba; hillary2016; x42

1 posted on 02/24/2014 1:00:01 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

The Appalachians were among the worst hit in the ‘30’s depression but were solidly for FDR. As a result they got the least money of any region. The rich Republican areas were FDR did the worst got the most. From this I conclude that the people of Appalachia are the lowest of low information voters.


2 posted on 02/24/2014 1:03:50 PM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: nickcarraway

This is the journalistic equivalent of grits. It’s just a vehicle for him to add his Republicans-are-racist flavoring to something he wants people to swallow.


3 posted on 02/24/2014 1:12:23 PM PST by hometoroost
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To: nickcarraway

Very odd headline. The Appalachians make up only a portion of KY, and by no means the most heavily populated.


4 posted on 02/24/2014 1:24:29 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: nickcarraway

It’s because Obama is a faggot, and people like faggots less than lesbos. After Hillary drags her baggy butt around the campaign trail, that might change.


5 posted on 02/24/2014 1:36:24 PM PST by pallis
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To: nickcarraway
Alternatively:

       Why Does New York Magazine Love Lil Douché and Hate Appalachia ?

6 posted on 02/24/2014 1:38:34 PM PST by tomkat
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To: pallis

as one fairly smart guy told me:

Bill Clinton
All the women want him
All the guys want to be him

A bit of exaggeration but more than a bit of truth there


7 posted on 02/24/2014 1:39:18 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: nickcarraway

Because democrats are racists?


8 posted on 02/24/2014 1:44:39 PM PST by Pietro
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To: nickcarraway

McConnell IS an 0bama puppet (through submission to Dingy).


9 posted on 02/24/2014 1:48:51 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: nickcarraway

It doesn’t look like the nitwit author of this article entertained the question of “what percentage of blacks in Kentucky voted for McCain and Romney?” And, “what were the comparative percentages of white Kentuckians voting for Obama versus black Kentuckians voting for McCain/Romney?” I suspect the disparate result can be explained pretty easily: race.

Leftists can project, but they don’t appear to be able to introspect.


10 posted on 02/24/2014 1:51:48 PM PST by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: nickcarraway

She reminds them of their great grandmother?


11 posted on 02/24/2014 2:08:50 PM PST by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: SharpRightTurn

Remember, this is about a subsection of flyover country, a place the author would find as alien as any on earth.


12 posted on 02/24/2014 2:09:09 PM PST by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: nickcarraway
What shocked about Packer’s report was, first, the explicitly racial tone of the opposition. Voters were not bothering to couch their disdain for Obama in euphemisms about affirmative action or crime or even Jeremiah Wright. They were saying things like, “I think [Obama] would put too many minorities in positions over the white race.”

These are Democrats he is talking about.

13 posted on 02/24/2014 2:12:54 PM PST by marron
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To: nickcarraway

Jason Zengerle sounds like another GOP moron strategist.

If McConnell can’t win after being there for how long, he’s weak.

The Republican primary voters should go for Bevin, but they aren’t.


14 posted on 02/24/2014 2:18:45 PM PST by ifinnegan
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To: All

I’m from the mountains of East Tennessee and I don’t know many mountain people that “loved” Clinton.....Most DID love Ronald Reagan, though....


15 posted on 02/24/2014 2:36:22 PM PST by JW1949
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To: Sherman Logan
The Appalachians make up only a portion of KY, and by no means the most heavily populated.

They don't want to hear it. They've got their own views that no one can change.

16 posted on 02/24/2014 3:53:01 PM PST by Right Wing Assault
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To: hometoroost
It’s just a vehicle for him to add his Republicans-are-racist flavoring to something he wants people to swallow.

Save that most of the group in question are registered and regularly vote Democrat...

17 posted on 02/24/2014 4:03:55 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: nascarnation
Bill Clinton

All the women want him

All the guys want to be him

A bit of exaggeration but more than a bit of truth there

Like hell I'd ever want to be like that Syphilitic Rapist.

18 posted on 02/24/2014 6:19:57 PM PST by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. Don’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: ifinnegan

I’m from Northern Kentucky and the sentiment is to vote Bevin. If Mitch wins primary, we will sit out the Senate race. Mitch has been sent numerous emails over the last 2 years requesting that he retire. Sadly, he hasn’t, so he will be forced into retirement by the voters. On a side note, we still remember what Mitch did to Senator Bunning. Bye Mitch, you deserve to go.


19 posted on 02/24/2014 7:57:36 PM PST by fastrock (It is never right to do wrong, even if sanctioned by law. - Abe Lincoln)
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To: fastrock

If I were from KY I would vote Bevin in the primary.

But, it doesn’t seem as if there are enough that share your sentiment.


20 posted on 02/24/2014 9:58:31 PM PST by ifinnegan
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To: nickcarraway

Has that IDIOT Jonathan Shait, I mean Chait ever heard of COAL?


21 posted on 02/24/2014 10:18:19 PM PST by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: nickcarraway
Nick, this article is disinformation intended to portray Republicans as racists. It's really quite well done and subtle.

What is really shocking about RINO McConnell is that he is not being primaried. The "Appalachians," whateva TF they are, are not going to vote Republican anyway, so why the article. BTW, their numbers are not huge.

McConnell, among his faults, may have one redeeming virtue at home. While this guy might come across to us like Sweet Fatty Milquetoast, every Democrat's Butt Boy, he is an absolute Lord and Master of the Pork Process. While he's kissing Barry's Butt, reaching across the aisle, and Lunching with Reid and Pelosi, he is always bringing home lotsa bacon.

Plus, I bet he has a lock on RNC support and can outspend Bevin in the primary 20-1. McConnell is a fitting symbol of all that has gone wrong with the Republic, but he does wrong real good.

22 posted on 02/25/2014 12:50:38 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Don't let the aftershave and embalming fluid fool you. Many RINOs are actually dead meat.)
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To: ifinnegan
vote Bevin in the primary? .... doesn’t seem as if there are enough that share your sentiment.

In fact, McConnell seems to be ignoring this guy in the primaries. I wonder what's going on.

Scary in one sense. This seems to be the sort of scenario where Team Obama might throw in a "Conservative" challenger to split the vote.

23 posted on 02/25/2014 12:54:30 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Don't let the aftershave and embalming fluid fool you. Many RINOs are actually dead meat.)
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