Hillary Clinton’s campaign team knew she was going to lose in West Virginia. As I’ve said in a previous post, the state hasn’t gone Democratic since 1996 and Romney won every county in 2012. After the Democratic primary on Tuesday, 42 percent of Democrats want the next president to be less liberal, with 44 percent of Bernie Sanders supporters saying they’ll vote for Trump in November. It’s just a more conservative electorate across the board, which is why Clinton’s damage control regarding her remarks about putting coal miners out of business was so offensive. She doesn’t care; she knows she’s probably going to lose, so why even bother with these hollow remarks. The coal miner who pressed Clinton on her remarks said that he feels her apology to him was a lie—and that the joyous inflection in those initial statements show her true colors.
So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Clinton finished third in a West Virginia county (Mingo) that used to be a bastion of coal power, nor should it be shocking that because this place used to be a haven for such mining—that locals literally gave the finger to Clinton’s “Scooby van” when she passed through. Mingo County opted to back Paul Farrell, an attorney, over Clinton (via Weekly Standard):
Hillary Clinton was guaranteed to lose the heart of coal country in West Virginia's Democratic primary election Tuesday. But third place in a two-person race?
That was the judgment of Mingo County, population 25,292, which voted Huntington lawyer Paul Farrell second over the former secretary of state. He finished with 1,187 votes, or 23.7 percent, to Clinton's 1,074 votes, or 21.4 percent. Bernie Sanders won the county with more votes than both candidates combined, en route to a winning share of 51 percent statewide.
Farrell filed election paperwork only in his home state in January and said he was running as an alternative to "none of the above" on the ballot. He described the candidates in both parties as a cast of characters to The Charleston Gazette-Mail: "a socialist, a felon, an alleged immigrant, a reality television star and a long list of scandalized career politicians."
In the days leading up to the primary Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said that if you’re voting Democratic, cast your ballot for Farrell.
In the end, Farrell only ended up with 8.8 percent of the vote overall. It’s not a devastating loss for Clinton, but one that carries a little bit of a sting. She won this state in 2008, beating Obama by 41 points (66/25). Now, she loses it 51/35 to a disheveled Democratic socialist? If anything, it shows how the toxicity of national Democrats is felt in this state that has long been fueled by coal power. In 2012, a convict garnered over 40 percent of the vote over Obama in a mostly ceremonial Democratic primary. He’s not popular, and when Hillary decided to join Obama’s administration–jump into the trenches of his war on coal–these folks casted her out like a leper–as they should.
Editor's Note: I mean to say West Virginia hasn't gone Democratic since 1996, not Republican. My mistake, folks.