Charleston Gazette's Rupp writes, "For Clinton to keep her edge or for Obama to make inroads, the candidates will have to appeal to the West Virginia values of Food, Family, Flag and Faith. Applying the 4 f test to current presidential nomination campaign in West Virginia yields the following results." Food (Jobs)- Advantage to Clinton. Her speeches "concentrates on a list of things she has done (children's health care), or promises to do to help the average worker." Family- Advantage goes to Clinton, whose husband and daughter "have already visited the state." If endorsements constitute the extended family, Obama can point to the support of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D).
Flag- No advantage. Neither candidate has military experience. "Look for surrogates to fill this void in Clinton and Obama's campaign." Faith- No advantage. Obama "should have had the advantage in a bible belt state" such as WV. But Obama has been undermined by charges that he was not a Christian and then specific comments from his former pastor. Obama's recent comments concerning the bitterness of working-class voters "undermines an effort to play to the values of the state in general and to the four F's in particular" (4/23).
The Early Bird Gets To Vote
Early voting begins today in the courthouses throughout WV, including the three counties in the Eastern Panhandle. According to the Jefferson Co. clerk's website, early voting will extend through 5/10. There are about 32K registered voters in Jefferson Co. As of 4/22, 61K people were registered in Berkeley Co. The '08 primary marks the first opportunity for registered voters with no party affiliation to vote in the Dem primary (Hagerstown Herald-Mail, 4/23).
This article appears in the April 23, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.