Obama has always had a problem with rural white Democrats, one that Hillary Clinton exposed in 2008.
But it has only gotten worse.
Last night, Obama lost a 67 out of 120 counties in Kentucky last night to “Uncommitted.” Ultimately, “uncommitted” took 42 per cent of the vote.
Let’s put that in perspective.
In the 1992 Republican New Hampshire primary, incumbent president George H.W. Bush got 53 per cent of the vote, and Pat Buchanan got 37 per cent. This was considered a crushing humiliation for Bush, and it was a harbinger for Bush’s dismal results in November. Like Obama, Bush has presided over a lingering recession.
And remember, Pat Buchanan was a living, breathing person, with considerable oratorical skill. And it was still at least thinkable that New Hampshirites voting for him could deny Bush the nomination.
Obama fared worse in Kentucky against literally nobody at all. “Uncommitted” bought no ads, gave no speeches. There were no bumper stickers for “Uncommitted”
To be fair, Obama wasn’t campaigning in New Hampshire, as Bush did in 1992. And “Uncommitted” wasn’t turning off any voters with heated rhetoric about culture-war issues. And Kentucky is not a state that Obama was ever going to win in the general election.
But it is still an embarrassing result for him, and a sign that he is especially weak among down-scale white voters who were at one time reliably Democratic voters.
Watch this video to see what Obama’s poor primary performace means:
Produced by Daniel Goodman
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