West Virginia Republicans Learn to Love a Felon

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 10 2012 3:46 PM

West Virginia Republicans Learn to Love a Felon

It took two days for West Virginia Republicans to capitalize on Inmate 11593-051's 41% of the vote in the state's Democratic primary. They're all in now. State GOP chairman Mike Stuart announces the party's new campaign to spread the Judd brand -- the first prominent party endorsement of a felon since, I think, the Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed Edwin Edwards in 1991.

In contrast to the Democrats, we are proud of our candidate for President.  Don't blame us, we voted Republican. More than forty percent of West Virginia Democrats voted for Keith Judd because they know that Judd would likely do less harm to West Virginia than this President’s war on coal, attack on West Virginia values, federal healthcare takeover, and the radical policies in pace at the White House... We will begin distributing a bumper sticker - "Don't Blame Me. I Voted for Keith Judd" - for Democrats to display their clear signal to this President that one term is long enough.
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Hilarious, but two caveats apply.

1) Romney, now his party's nominee in all but name (and the hearts of Ron Paul supporters), scored just 69.6 percent of the vote in the GOP primary. Unlike Obama, he did win every county. But John McCain polled 7 points better than Romney back in 2008's primary.

2) More people voted for Obama than voted for Romney -- 105,833 to 77,477. The reason: West Virginia's got one of the last great hold-out conservative Democratic Parties. It's down to them and Arkansas -- states that are trending Republican, but don't have enough black liberals to overcome the old Democratic guard as voters slowly migrate into the GOP.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.