Friday, May 12, 2017

Will The Anti-Trump Tsunami Be High Enough To Reach Appalachia? How About WV-03?


At an RNC meeting in California today, members watched a video message from Trump that is as unattached to reality as any of his lunatic tweets. He's promising to campaign for Republican candidates during the midterms. I wonder how many will invite him. "I'll be going around to different states. I'll be working hard for people running for Congress and the people running for the Senate. We can pick up a lot of seats, especially if it keeps going the way it's going now," he said. I spoke with several Republican congressional staffers who all basically told me the same thing about his promise to campaign in battleground states and districts: "He's completely lost his marbles."

With sophomore Republican Congressman Evan Jenkins embarking on a suicide mission against Senator Joe Manchin, Democrats are wondering if southern West Virginia is ready to send a Democrat to Congress again. Jenkins beat long-time Blue Dog Democrat Nick Rahall in 2014-- 77,713 (55.4%) to 62,688 (44.6%), even though Rahall outspent him $2,645,214 to $1,645,575. Jenkins became the first Republican to win the seat in 84 years. (That's how much they loved FDR and the New Deal there.) Last cycle Democrat Matt Detch only took 24% of the vote to Jenkin's 68%. It was Trump's top district in the state-- 72.5% and he out-performed Romney's 65.0%.

So why would a Democrat even try? Well, Democrat Jim Justice carried the district on the same day Trump did, taking 55% against Republican Bill Cole, the state Senate president, who got just 38% in the gubernatorial race. And Bernie won the district in the primary. There are 18 counties in WV-03. Bernie beat Hillary in every single one of them-- an d by a lot. Let's compared Bernie's primary performance with Señor Trumpanzee's primary performance:
Boone: Bernie- 2,410; Trumpanzee- 1,388
Cabell: Bernie- 5,361; Trumpanzee- 5,977
Fayette: Bernie- 3,585; Trumpanzee- 2,683
Greenbrier: Bernie- 2,864; Trumpanzee- 3,005
Lincoln: Bernie- 1,510; Trumpanzee- 1,193
Logan: Bernie- 3,201; Trumpanzee- 1,665
Mason: Bernie- 1,769; Trumpanzee- 2,484
McDowell: Bernie- 1,453; Trumpanzee- 760
Mercer: Bernie- 3,233; Trumpanzee-- 5,526
Mingo: Bernie- 2,425; Trumpanzee- 1,161
Monroe: Bernie- 817; Trumpanzee- 1,557
Nicholas: Bernie- 1.994; Trumpanzee- 2,210
Pocahontas: Bernie- 826; Trumpanzee- 833
Raleigh: Bernie- 4,888; Trumpanzee- 7,325
Summers: Bernie- 1,060; Trumpanzee- 942
Wayne: Bernie- 2,898; Trumpanzee- 2,662
Webster: Bernie- 837; Trumpanzee- 423
Wyoming: Bernie- 1,498; Trumpanzee- 1,593
So, although Trump beat Bernie slightly-- 43,387 to 42,629-- it was only by 758 votes out of over 85,000 cast. Do you think 759 people are pissed off about Trump's lies by now?

The former state Rep. who Rahall beat by 8 points in 2012, Rick Snuffer, is running again and it looks like a whacked out Trumpist goon, Conrad Lucas, the state Republican Party chairman, will also run. As of now, there's no Democrat running but I don't doubt the DCCC will dig up some corporate-type loser who will have no chance other than in an anti-Trump tidal wave that gets as high as the West Virginia mountains. A savvy friend of mine from one of the red counties told me this morning that "We need to have the right candidate on the general election congressional ballot in November 2018. Someone who will get our voters off of the couch so that they can make a real difference. We need someone who has shown a strong public commitment to a progressive populist economic platform over a period of years, someone running on the same brand and butter, kitchen table issues that did so well for Bernie down here. If we offer the same old, same old corporate establishment Democrat, we’ll have our clock cleaned and be disappointed again."

Medicaid is a big deal in these West Virginia counties. If TrumpCare ever gets signed into law, WV-03 will be the hardest hit of the state's districts. 79,105 people will lose their health insurance, 13.2% of the population. Most Trump districts don't have that kind of a massive loss. The average Wisconsin district will see 2.9% of its people lose coverage. It's 3.0% in Texas, 2.4% in South Dakota, 2.6% in Alabama and 3.4% in Georgia. Take Florida's 3rd district (Ted Yoho's seat) as a contrast. The voters there went for Trump strongly over Hillary-- 56.2% to 40.2%. But under TrumpCare 28,030 folks in Yoho's district will be up shit's creek without a paddle (3.9%). Look at how much more catastrophic it is in WV-03!

So when you see a poll like yesterday's from Quinnipiac, showing that only 21% of the country approves of TrumpCare, you have to know these folks in West Virginia-- these Trump voters who heard him say over and over again that he wouldn't touch their Medicaid-- are going to be very, very pissed off. Quinnipiac reported that "American voters approve 64-32 percent of the current law which prevents health insurance companies from raising premiums on people with pre-existing conditions. Voters say 75-21 percent, including 59-34 percent among Republicans, that it's a "bad idea" to give states the ability to allow health insurance companies to raise rates on people with pre-existing conditions. A total of 96 percent of voters say it's 'very important' or 'somewhat important' that health insurance be affordable for all Americans. American voters disapprove 66-28 percent of the way President Donald Trump is handling health care."

UPDATE: There's A Candidate

State Senator Richard Ojeda filed his papers to run yesterday. He's a highly decorated 46 year old army veteran, who retired as a Major in 2013. I'm pretty sure he wrote the state's medical marijuana bill. He's a big Second Amendment proponent.

Also state Delegate Rupie Phillips, a former Democrat who earlier this year became an independent, changed his registration Thursday to run for the seat as a Republican.

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At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget WV and everywhere else in the south. Racism and coal burning trump everything else. And it's 18 months away. Start speculating on elections in a year and remember that everything before next spring will be long forgotten by then.

Besides racism and coal, stupidity is pandemic there too.


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