Sunday, May 20, 2012

Arkansas Primed to Deliver Nasty Surprise to Obama in Primary

by Rick Moran

Oh how delicious this would be; Barack Obama losing the Arkansas primary?

It's a long shot, as Allahpundit notes. But the dissatisfaction is real - as is a growing "anyone but Obama" sentiment that is boosting a truly unknown candidate, John Wolfe, into contention. Arkansas features an "open primary" which means that Republicans can cross over and deliver a nasty little surprise for Obama on primary day, May 22.

Also in the mix is Obama's recent conversion on gay marriage that is not sitting well with the moderate, socially conservative Democrats in Arkansas.


In West Virginia, federal inmate Keith Judd recently swiped 42 percent of Democratic votes from the president, indicating the level of dissatisfaction among the rank and file. And according to a Talk Business-Hendrix College poll conducted on May 10, Obama leads John Wolfe, a virtually unknown candidate, in Arkansas's 4th congressional district by only 7 points, 45-38.

Three weeks earlier, the Talk Business-Hendrix College poll showed the president leading by 65-24 in the slightly less conservative 1st district, but that was before Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage.

Wolfe, an attorney from Tennessee, tells NRO the new poll numbers indicate Democrats' discontent with their standard-bearer. "He doesn't understand them," he says. "I think it's more manifest in the health-care area. I think they would like something different." For his part, Wolfe promises to repeal Obamacare.

As The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol has noted, Wolfe isn't a political novice. He was the Democratic candidate in Tennessee's 3rd congressional district three times. And he owes the state $10,000 for failing to file campaign documents in his 2007 run for the state senate.

The main problem with Obama's presidency, Wolfe argues, is that the chief executive has merely "ratified institutional failures." The corrupt government in Afghanistan? "He expanded our commitment to it." Our expensive health-care system? "He made a deal to protect Big Pharma." The irresponsible lending on Wall Street? "He perpetuated 'too big to fail.'"

And the reason for Obama's failure to change Washington stems from his personnel: He surrounds himself with bankers, such as former chief of staff Bill Daley (JP Morgan) and current head staffer Jack Lew (Citibank).

Defeat is not likely, but an embarrassment like West Virginia is possible. And if enough Republicans turn out, who knows?

Rick Moran


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