One had not expected much news out of the series of pro-forma Democrat primaries in the many states, working up to the Democratic Party Convention in North Carolina in early September. After all, the incumbent is on the ballot and it would be bad form for someone to take on the political messiah who is to cause the tide to recede, heal the planet, and fundamentally transform America.
Yet it has happened, and candidate Keith Judd has garnered some 41% of the Democrat votes in last night’s primary in West Virginia. This native and favorite son (well, 41% at least, but he did win in ten counties) paid the $2500 filing fee for the ‘notarized certification of announcement’ and circulated his platform throughout local media in the state. For example, as a strong advocate of the Tenth Amendment, he opposes national health care reform.
Press comments will have to wait for visiting hours
Yet if this most Stygian of dark horses is to ride this sudden groundswell to the White House next January, he will have to make some major accommodations for the Inaugural Ball, since he is incarcerated in a federal penitentiary near Texarkana, Texas until June 2013. Convicted of extortion and communicating a threat at the University of New Mexico, he is finishing out a 17 year sentence.
West Virginia ballots (or those of any other state for that matter) are not required to make this information known – a situation that Democrats will rectify in the near future, I would hope. Exit pollsters found several voters surprised to discover this little mote about his felony incarceration, but the Democrat voters were united in their motivation to vote for anyone other than Obama.
There is no news about whether it is possible for Inmate Judd (Number 11593-051) to ride this groundswell onto ballots of other states, but he may want to join forces with other candidates such as anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, who won 18% of the vote (and carried 12 counties) in Oklahoma, or lawyer John Wolfe who won nearly 18,000 votes in Louisiana, or the candidate named ‘No Preference’ in North Carolina (yes, the site of the National Convention), who won 21% of the vote (during the 61% blowout win of the no-gay-marriage amendment initiative on the heels of yet another Joe Biden gaffe). And considering Obama’s 32.7% approval rating in the traditionally blue state of West Virginia, Judd will want to focus his near-term efforts in Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma and Wyoming, where it is even worse. He is expected to do well within his stated religious community of the Rastafarian-Christian movement, this listed on the same sheet of particulars that included his entry for favorite food: "I forgot".
Judd is, however, entitled to a yet-to-be-named delegate to the Democratic Party Convention.
Seriously, this cannot be good news for the Obama campaign. It is a bitter draught for his Kool-Aid imbibers and his national press (but I repeat myself). As the Obama campaign tries to tout his poll numbers (some say presently he is at a 50-50 split with Romney), it is well to remember the Bradley Effect. But after this far more optics-friendly example of election surprises, the phenomenon might well be renamed after Judd.
Update: Politico has a post on Judd's 'election strategy'.
Update: A succinct post at Examiner.com explans that a similar phenomenon has happened in the Arkansas Democrat primary, where attorney John Wolfe (who, one can argue, is at least semi-serious, unlike the Keith Judd candidacy) has taken almost 42% of the vote. Wolfe now goes on to the primary in Texas on 29 May.
As for Kentucky, that state allows "uncommitted" to be on the ballot, and that category took 42% of the vote against Obama.
The ABO (Anyone But Obama) campaign is taking a sizable chunk out of the Fundamental Transformer.