Democrats seeking to disenfranchise Arkansas voters, and PA in play?

**Posted by Phineas

A few days ago, I wrote about the possibility, albeit it an unlikely one, that President Obama could lose the Arkansas Democratic primary to a little-known challenger. Well, now it seems the Arkansas Democrats, with perhaps a little push from the DNC, are trying to tell angry Arkansans that their votes don’t count, if they’re the wrong votes:

After a poll released this week showed President Barack Obama only beating his Democratic primary opponent John Wolfe Jr. by seven points, 45 percent to 38 percent, in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District, state Democrats moved to practically disenfranchise Arkansas voters. “[D]elegates Wolfe might claim won’t be recognized at the national convention,” national party officials are telling state Democrats. Wolfe is being accused of not following the party rules.

“They want a coronation,” Wolfe tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “They’re conflating [Obama] with the party. Are we supposed to call him ‘Dear Leader’? Is this some kind of North Korea thing?”

Wolfe insists he’s done the due diligence to qualify for delegates and that the state party is making decisions ad hoc to get the results they desire. “This is ridiculous,” he says. “These guys are trying to tamp down voter enthusiasm.”

Bear in mind that this comes after Obama gave up 41% of the vote and ten counties to a federal prisoner in West Virginia, while, in North Carolina, he gave up 20% of the vote to “Mr. No Preference.” At, John Nolte explains why the Democrats are so worried:

As I mentioned in my interview with Wolfe earlier this week, Wolfe’s story is one the media doesn’t want to tell. The Narrative is supposed to be about presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney having trouble consolidating his base, not the Democrat incumbent who is also the media’s chosen candidate.

If the exact same scenario were in play but with players who each had an “R” after their name as opposed to a “D,” I suspect the media would’ve done everything in their power to turn Wolfe into a folk hero by now in an effort to undermine the sitting Republican. Thus far, however, the media’s reaction to Wolfe has been one of almost total radio silence — a position that will be difficult to maintain should Wolfe achieve a respectable showing in a couple of days.

Nolte also points out that Wolfe is on the Texas primary ballot, and the DNC is worried that a good showing by him in Arkansas could lead to more embarrassment in the Lone Star State.

But it isn’t just in the South that Obama has problems, which Obama apologists will no doubt spin as “racism.” (Insert eye-roll as needed.) As I speculated in that same piece last week, the troubles in WV, NC, AR, and possibly TX could be adumbrations of real danger in Pennsylvania, where the Average White Guy/Jacksonian Democrat voter is none too happy right now.

Well, now we’re starting to get some confirmation. From Roll Call:

Pennsylvania is also well-known as a state with a large number of working-class whites, particularly in northeastern (Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, for example) and western Pennsylvania (Erie, Johnstown and Pittsburgh) — the kind of people one GOP strategist says “have their names on their shirts when they are at work.”

Candidate Obama had problems with those kinds of voters in 2008 — county-level data shows he did worse than Kerry in 2004 in a swath of counties running from southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia through extreme southwestern Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, and into Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. If anything, he seems weaker in those areas this year.

These voters don’t have an automatic cultural connection to Obama (or to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney), and the president’s recent announcement supporting same-sex marriage isn’t likely to be a plus with them. Jobs, of course, remain a big issue with these voters, and whatever hope they had that Obama would turn the economy around has almost certainly evaporated.

Potentially, Romney could outperform most national Republicans in the southeastern corner of the state, as he is a better “cultural fit” there, particularly in Philadelphia’s upscale suburbs (Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware counties).


Given these considerations, is there enough reason to include Pennsylvania in a short list of swing states? Not yet, for me. But there certainly is enough reason to treat Pennsylvania as a potential battleground and to continue to monitor the presidential numbers in the state.

There’s a lot more in this article, and Stuart Rothenberg is a very experienced analyst. Well-worth reading.

Meanwhile, if I were in the Obama campaign inner circle, I’d be very worried.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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