Joe Biden: The gift that keeps on giving – PLUS: Obama’s NC problem

Gotta love this guy:

Vice President Biden said he understood the frustration that led many West Virginia Democrats to vote for a felon over President Obama in the state’s presidential primary.

Asked what he made of a felon sitting in a Texas prison who won four out of 10 Democratic primary voters in West Virginia, Biden told Ohio television station WTOV that he doesn’t blame people who are frustrated and angry over the economy.


Biden said a lot of Americans are still hurting because of the recession the Obama administration inherited.

“And so I don’t blame people. They’re frustrated, they’re angry,” Biden said.

He added that Americans would eventually decide that the path back to employment and prosperity would lead them to Obama’s approach rather than Mitt Romney’s.

Here’s video of the interview:

Maybe Americans in other states will ultimately turn to Barack Obama in November but not West Virginia. I mean, seriously, you’ve got more problems than just the economy when four in ten Democrat voters in a state primary pick a convicted felon over you. And West Virginia isn’t the only state Obama’s having issues with in terms of primary voters, as my co-blogger recently noted. And as far as the general election goes, Obama’s already running into problems in North Carolina – the state he won (and flipped) in 2008 by the smallest margin of those in which he was victorious (14,000 votes). The problems he’s run into here are so glaring as to have some suggest picking Charlotte for the DNC as part of a strategic goal might have been a big mistake for the Obama campaign. Jay Cost writes:

For starters, you win the presidency with 270 electoral votes. If you rank Obama’s 2008 statewide victories from biggest to smallest, and take into account the changes to the Electoral College because of the latest census, North Carolina provided the 344th electoral vote for Obama–meaning, it was just gravy. The state that put him over the top was actually Colorado, and Iowa was a close second in that regard.

So if he was looking to hold a minimum of 270 electoral votes by using 2008 results as his baseline, either of those two states would have been better than North Carolina. In fact, any other state that he won in 2008 would have been better. His margin in North Carolina was just 0.32 percent, smaller than his margin of victory even in Indiana, smaller even than his margin of victory in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District.

Worse, putting the convention in Charlotte frustrates multiple clients of the Democratic party. The gay marriage ballot initiative in North Carolina is only one such example, which obviously aggravates high-profile gay donors to Obama-Biden. But also problematic is that North Carolina is a right to work state and the unions are having a hard time swallowing that one.

If polling numbers in this state are any indication of things to come, Obama’s in for another battle in North Carolina come fall. His chances of winning here, as they did in 2008, will rely heavily on black voter turn out. Here in North Carolina, black voter turnout in 2008 was 6% higher than it had been in previous presidential election years. As I’ve said before, if he loses even one or two percent of the black vote that came out for him in 2008 – and he very well could as a result of his “coming out” in support of gay marriage, that will make the battle for NC even tougher for him.

Ultimately, though, people in this state – as they will in all others – will vote based largely on the economy, and privately some Democrat strategists are worried about the polling numbers from independents in several key states who look to be turning towards Romney on the issue of the economy:

One senior North Carolina Democrat, who insisted on anonymity because of involvement in multiple statewide and legislative campaigns, said private polling in a variety of state races shows that white voters and independents are trending toward Republicans in an alarming way.

“The biggest thing Obama has got to overcome here is his problems with white independent voters, those middle-of-the-road voters,” the Democrat said. “If he doesn’t, we are going to get our asses whipped like I have never seen in my 20 years of doing politics.”

The Democrat predicted a “bloodbath” for the party in November if those numbers fail to tighten.

Holding the convention in Charlotte, this person said, might make for an exciting week but will do little to push the state in Obama’s direction: “I’m glad that it’s here for sheer state pride, but is it going to make much difference at Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro?”

As they say, stay tuned ….

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