Despite what the polls might say about the general election, the Clinton campaign shouldn’t make much of the West Virginia primary. Not only is the Mountain State a poor proxy for the rest of the country’s “haird werking” people, but her slim advantage in a matchup against McCain will vanish once Obama’s out of the picture. The notorious cultural aversion to Obama that will deliver the primary to Hillary could blow up in her face during the general election. Those West Virginians who think that Obama is a Muslim with an atheist wife could be thoroughly convinced come November that Clinton is… oh I don’t know… A LESBIAN BOLSHEVIK WHO KILLED VINCE FOSTER!
Democrats still control the political machinery in West Virginia, but abortion is a crucial issue, even among party loyalists. The state’s truculent nationalism and its desire to participate in the project of national greatness favor the war hero candidate. So for what it’s worth, Hillary leads Obama among those who are going to eventually vote for the guy who spent the 1960’s in a bamboo cage.