President Obama has never been wildly popular in West Virginia, but Tuesday’s Democratic primary marked the state’s sharpest rejection of the president yet. A Texas prisoner, listed as Inmate No. 11593-051, received 69,766 votes, a surprising 41% of the total, showing that many West Virginians would vote for just about anyone other than Obama, regardless of their status as a felon. Obama still won the primary, with 59% of the vote.
Keith Judd, the prisoner in question, is currently serving a 17½-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana after being sentenced for extortion in an altercation with the University of New Mexico.
By receiving more than 15% of the vote in West Virginia, Judd is technically allowed at least one state delegate, though no one has yet stepped forward to head to the Democratic National Convention for him. Tuesday’s face-off wasn’t the first time both Judd and Obama have been on the ballot, though, as Judd finished third in the 2008 Idaho primary behind both Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton with 1.7% of the vote.
To be eligible for the ballot, all Judd needed to do was pay a $2,500 filing fee and fill out a “notarized certification of announcement,” along with meeting other residency and age requirements.
Both West Virginia’s Democratic and Republican primaries, it should be noted, are open to independent voters.
Tuesday’s primary results follow Obama’s lengthy record of electoral failure and minuscule popular support in West Virginia. During the 2008 primary, he lost to Clinton by 41 points as her campaign was winding down its efforts. He then lost the state to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 13 points in the general election.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) made headlines during the 2010 election for his thoroughly armed efforts to distance himself from the president as he sought to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd. Obama currently holds a 32.7% approval rating according to a recent Gallup state-by-state poll. That approval rating, by Gallup’s numbers, is the fifth-lowest nationwide.
Mitt Romney, who won the Republican primary Tuesday with 69% of the vote, currently holds a 17 point advantage over Obama in the polls, according to The West Virginia Poll.
Original source: Texas inmate wins 41% of the vote against Obama in WV primary