I read in "Obama mostly absent from West Virginia governor's race" that the Republican challenger to the Democrats' choice to replace now-Senator Joe Manchin - Earl Ray Tomblin - is only now - a week before the special election - trying to tie Tomblin to the most disliked president in the state since ... well, since it became a state. While it's a good strategy to link Obama to any candidate if you want that candidate to lose, in West Virginia there are bigger issues (believe it or not).
The state of West Virginia has been in Democrat control for sixty years. And in those sixty years it has declined to the point of third-world status. Did you know that Charleston, the state's capital (population 53,000), was, in the 50's, larger than Charlotte, NC (current population 540,000)? It's a fact.
Sky-high taxes, boosted by a "progressive" tax structure that only a Joseph Stalin could love, aided by a legal system that punishes - with too much glee - anyone and everyone with deep pockets (think trial lawyers), and add a political climate in which business can only thrive by moving out of state, and you have ...
... West Virginia.
Republicans have actually been employing the right tactic there. It's not about Obama (yet). Earl Ray Tomblin has been in government for over thirty years. He's as much a contributor to the problems facing the poor people of the state as anyone alive today (and there are a lot of Robert Byrd wannabes in the state, believe me).
And the Democrats want Earl Ray to continue the trend. He is their man.
So yeah, it will win over a few people when the GOP starts linking Obama with Earl Ray Tomblin. But most people look at the state of the state and look at a man who has been an integral part in putting it in the state it's in, and ask:
We're continuing down this path why?
- - -
* Some trivia:
West Virginia’s share of the U.S. population has fallen from 1.4 percent in 1790 to 0.6 percent in 2010.
Amazingly, from 1900 to 1950, West Virginia’s population growth exceeded national growth.
West Virginia’s population has increased modestly during the past two decades, rising by 3.3 percent from 1990 to 2010. However, that growth was well below the national rate of 24.1 percent.