Well, the results are coming in. And all that blather about racism ... racism ... racism is just that. Blather. Turns out, the 2008 election was a simple remake of the 2004 election. From "Virginia Seeing Widening Political Divide Between Southwest, Northern Regions Of State" in this morning's Bristol Herald Courier):
But for all of the bright political lights who courted votes here in recent months – Gov. Mike Huckabee, former President Bill Clinton and presidential nominees Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama – and for all the expectations of record voter turnout, little changed Nov. 4.
McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, carried virtually every locality in the southwest region of Virginia, including the bastions of Democratic support in the coalfields. They won by margins that ranged from less than 1 percent in Dickenson County, to more than 40 percentage points in Scott County.
In Bristol, the GOP presidential ticket prevailed by 62 percent to 36 percent – a result almost identical to the 2004 presidential race.
Of registered voters in Bristol, Va., 62 percent turned out – a rate within a percentage point of the turnout levels in the general elections of 2004 and 2000.
So, when it comes down to it, despite the whining of local newspaper columnists about a dearth of "justice, equality and peace" in Southwest Virginia (because his guy lost here), it turns out that we voted - not on the basis of skin color or rumors about religious affiliation - but on the same issues that prompted us to vote overwhelmingly for the more moderate of two candidates running for president four years ago. The question was asked: Who would best serve the people of Southwest Virginia? And answered.
It wasn't Al Gore four years ago with his promise of more and more safety nets for the poor and it wasn't Barack Obama for the same reason.
Opportunity is the key to success here. Whoever comes to Southwest Virginia with hat in hand in 2012 might want to remember that.