Last week yielded two extraordinary political embarrassments--one each for President Obama and Governor Romney--and both underlined the polarized nature of the country and the probability of a close election ahead.
President Obama lost 10 counties and 41% of the Democratic primary vote in West Virginia to a felon--Keith Judd--serving time in a federal prison in Texas. www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/President/2012/0509/Ouch!-Obama-loses-41-percent-of-W.Va.-primary-vote-to-federal-inmate. They really do not like the President in West Virginia, where neither the Democratic Governor nor the Democratic Senator would say whether they voted for the President or the felon. Indeed, that is one big Ouch!!!
But Governor Romney did not escape unscathed last week. Rasmussen Reports polled the Presidential race in Massachusetts and found the President decimating Romney by 21 points in Romney's home state.
While Rasmussen did not include any other names in its polling question, Rasmussen states that 6% said that they would be supporting a third party candidate. While that 6% number for third party candidates will not impact the outcome in Massachusetts, other polls around the country are finding that about 6% of voters say they will be supporting a third party candidate. Third parties could yet decide the winner nationally of the 2012 race.
Romney could well win the Presidency but set a record for the margin by which a Presidential candidate lost his home state. Still another poll in March put Romney 24 points behind in Massachusetts. Familiarity with Romney has not bred fondness back home.
The data from West Virginia and Massachusetts drive home the polarized condition of the country and the probability that the 2012 Presidential race will be close like those in 2000 and 2004.