Against Obama, even a jailbird gets votes
10 May 2012, 07:21
Charleston - Just how unpopular is President Barack Obama in some parts
of the United States? Enough that a man in prison in Texas is getting 4
out of 10 votes in West Virginia's Democratic presidential primary.
inmate, Keith Judd, is serving time at the Beaumont Federal
Correctional Institution in Texas for making threats at the University
of New Mexico in 1999. With 93% of precincts reporting, Obama was
receiving just under 60% of the vote to Judd's 40%.
For some West Virginia Democrats, simply running against Obama is enough to get Judd votes.
voted against Obama," said Ronnie Brown, a 43-year-old electrician from
Cross Lanes who called himself a conservative Democrat. "I don't like
him. He didn't carry the state before and I'm not going to let him carry
When asked which presidential candidate he voted for, Brown said, "That guy out of Texas."
was able to get on the state ballot by paying a $2 500 fee and filing a
form known as a notarised certification of announcement, said Jake
Glance, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State's office.
No delegate for Judd
Attracting at least 15% of the vote would normally qualify a candidate for a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
state Democratic Party Executive Director Derek Scarbro said no one has
filed to be a delegate for Judd. The state party also believes that
Judd has failed to file paperwork required of presidential candidates,
but officials continue to research the matter, Scarbro said.
Voters in other conservative states showed their displeasure with Obama in Democratic primaries last March.
Oklahoma, anti-abortion protester Randall Terry got 18% of the primary
vote. A lawyer from Tennessee, John Wolfe, pulled nearly 18 000 votes in
the Louisiana primary. In Alabama, 18% of Democratic voters chose
"uncommitted" in the primary rather than vote for Obama. In Tuesday's
North Carolina primary, 21% of Democratic voters marked "no preference".
energy policies and the Environmental Protection Agency's handling of
mining-related permits have incurred the wrath of West Virginia's coal
With the state the
nation's second-biggest producer of this fossil fuel, Governor Earl Ray
Tomblin and Senator Joe Manchin - both Democrats who have championed the
industry - have declined to say whether they will support Obama in the
Hillary Clinton beat Obama handily in the
state's 2008 primary, and he lost the state to Republican John McCain in
the general election.
The latest state-by-state Gallup poll,
released in January, found Obama with a 32.7% approval rating in West
Virginia. The president had a lower approval rating only in Utah, Idaho,
Oklahoma and Wyoming.
"Keith Judd's performance is embarrassing
for Obama and our great state," outgoing West Virginia Republican
Chairperson Mike Stuart said.
Presumed Republican presidential
nominee Mitt Romney won West Virginia's GOP primary on Tuesday with more
than 69% of the vote, with 93% of precincts reporting. Rick Santorum
followed with 12%, while Ron Paul had 11%.