Bernie Sanders In West Virginia Trump Country
Trump won West Virginia 68.7% to 26.5%. He did much better than any other Republican ever-- yes, even better than Reagan (55.1%) or Romney (62.3%). He won every single county in the state, even the ones that normally lean blue. And he did even better in McDowell County than he did statewide:
• Trump- 4,614 (74.7%)Bill Clinton won robust victories in West Virginia both times he ran but they sure have come to hate Hillary there. Bernie killed her statewide-- 51.4% to 35.8%. And in McDowell County, Bernie cleaned up. He beat Hillary 1,453 (55.5%) to 781 (29.9%). Trump won the Republican primary as well, but only 760 people voted for him, half of those who voted for Bernie. Keep it in mind when you watch the video of Bernie in McDowell County with Chris Hayes.
• Clinton- 1,429 (23.1%)
McDowell is better known for another statistic though. It's one of the 4 West Virginia counties that had the highest number of fatal pain pill overdoses anywhere in the U.S. Predatory pharmaceutical firms have actually targeted poor, rural West Virginian communities and have poured 760 million painkillers into the area. The town hall style meeting took place on Sunday and was aired nationally Monday evening on Hayes' show. Notice the standing ovation when Bernie walked into the room. Very powerful! Listening to the residents' perspectives about this travesty, Bernie responded: "I’ve got to tell you, I’m not a great fan of the pharmaceutical industry in general. For them to make to make billions in profits by getting young people addicted and ruining their lives... We have to start holding them accountable."
Bernie spent a lot of time of health-related issues and he roasted Paul Ryan's TrumpCare proposal. "The Republican bill, it should not be seen as a health care bill, because throwing millions of people off of health care [is not] health care legislation. What it should be seen as is a huge tax break for the wealthiest people in this country. At a time when we have a massive level of income and wealth inequality, this legislation would provide, over a ten-year period, a billion dollars in tax breaks to the top 2 percent. So when people tell you we don't have enough money to invest in McDowell County or rebuild our infrastructure, nationally... don't believe them... Right now, there are tens of thousands of coal miners who were promised health care when they retired. [Their] families were promised pensions, and you got a Congress including Senator McConnell from the coal state of Kentucky, who is holding up legislation to make sure these families have the health care and the pensions that they were promised. So if you think about all of the miners who suffered and died from black lung disease and all the other injuries... I would say that as a nation, we owe these folks a great deal."
These folks sure sound like a bunch of economic progressives, don't they?