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  WV-PPP: Trump crushes Clinton
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Author Topic: WV-PPP: Trump crushes Clinton  (Read 3194 times)
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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2016, 11:18:10 pm »

It's hard to believe now that West Virginia was one of six states to vote  for Jimmy Carter in 1980 and of the ten states to vote for Dukakis in 1988. 
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« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2016, 08:51:28 am »
« Edited: May 04, 2016, 09:22:09 am by pbrower2a »


West Virginia, despite its bucolic image, was very much a land of mining and heavy industry.  That meant unions heavily active in politics.

West Virginia has problems.


Do you want to live well and prosper? (Pardon the Star Trek reference)  West Virginia is not the place to be.

(cited material)

T H E   M E A S U R E   O F   A M E R I C A   2 0 1 3 –2014

Well-Being Comparisons:
U.S. States
This section presents American Human Development Index scores for
U.S. states and  the different racial and ethnic groups within them.
The top-ranking state on the Index is Connecticut. Although Connecticut
residents saw a $1,500 decline in earnings since the last Index, the state
still edged out Massachusetts and New Jersey to retain its number one
spot due to uniformly good outcomes in all three Index areas. Fourth-
place District of Columbia—included in the state-level Index following the
practice of the U.S. Census Bureau—finished strong due to its first-place
ranking in both education and earnings and despite a poor showing in
health. The District has the forty-third lowest life expectancy of all fifty
states, just above Tennessee

ranking states:
1. Connecticut
2. Massachusetts
3. New Jersey
4. District of Columbia
5. Maryland

ranking states:

47. Alabama
48. Kentucky
49. West Virginia
50. Arkansas
51. Mississippi

(my analysis)

West Virginia has done badly in formal education, having one of the highest percentages of people without high school diplomas. It doesn't send many kids to college who end up getting a college degree. A graduate degree? West Virginia has little to attract one.  (New Mexico has a high percentage of people with less than a college degree, probably largely elderly Mexican-Americans, but it does have a healthy number of people with graduate degree. UC Berkeley set up the Los Alamos Laboratory during WWII for the Manhattan Project).  New Mexico isn't that bad.

West Virginia is fairly good at incomes for states near the bottom in Human Development Index (HDI), but such reflects the declining activities of mining and heavy industry. The state failed to invest adequately in public education If one can't get a job in mining or heavy industry, there just isn't much opportunity.

People are more likely to vote Democratic if they are non-white, non-Christian, urban, and well educated. West Virginia is very white, very Christian, rural, and poorly educated. Poor people other than whites tend even more liberal than middle-class people of their ethnic group, but poor white people do not fit that trend. Thus West Virginia has most of the demographics that now favor the Republican Party.

Contrast Virginia, which is 11th in HDI. (stats from the source). It has proportionally far fewer people with less than high-school diplomas than West Virginia. One is about twice as likely to have a bachelor's degree if one lives in Virginia than in West Virginia. and more than twice as likely to have a graduate degree. Virginia has an above-average percentage of blacks. The reputations of Pat Robinson and the late Jerry Falwell notwithstanding,  Virginia isn't especially fundamentalist-Christian. Virginia has no giant cities, but it does have significant large cities. While Democrats have been hemorrhaging votes in West Virginia they are gaining voters in Virginia. The two states are going opposite way in politics. Virginia is beginning to vote more like Michigan than like Mississippi.  

But at the least, one might think, West Virginians should benefit greatly from 'white privilege' which many people think real. After all, blacks, American Indians, and Latinos on the whole fare worse than do whites. If there is such a thing as white privilege, it seems to have passed West Virginia by. HDI for white people in West Virginia is a paltry 3.99... but for American Indians in California it is 4.43; for blacks in Maryland it is  4.99; for Latinos in Virginia it is 5.20. (statistics from the source) Statistically one is better off being black in Maryland, an American Indian in California, or Latino in Virginia than being white in West Virginia. I'm guessing that 'white privilege' is a myth for ill-educated white people in disadvantaged areas.

West Virginia was long dominated by Democrats in politics. In Presidential politics it gave a majority to Bill Clinton in 1996 -- and that could be the last time for a very long time. To be sure, even a state that  has demographics that might otherwise favor the other Party  (Nebraska and Utah are well-educated and good in most social measures, but contrary to that reality they are very Republican-leaning), a Party that presides over political failure can fall very fast. Northern states that don't do so great (Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) can put blame on both Parties, so there is little likelihood of one of the Parties getting all the blame. In West Virginia, Democrats held a far larger share of political power far longer as the state's economy faltered and the state under-invested in education, public health, and even roads. Such created opportunities for Republicans to make a swift takeover in political life.

Of course, so did the weakening of the once-powerful labor unions, especially the United Mine Workers. At the same time as the unions lost influence, a coal baron like Don Blankenship  could wax powerful in political life.
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