Friday, May 6, 2016

All Politics Is Local

“All politics is local” they say, and this photo, taken along WV Route 2 in Ohio County between Wheeling and Warwood, seems to prove that point. I count twenty-one signs for several candidates and there is not one for a presidential candidate among the bunch.

West Virginia’s primary electron is next Tuesday, May 10th. For the first time since perhaps the 1960 primary, when Democrat John Kennedy proved a Roman Catholic could win the presidency by winning the West Virginia Democratic primary back when the state was solidly Democratic, The Mountain State’s primary is receiving national attention from candidates and the media this year.

With the days of JFK as well as Bob Byrd and Jay Rockefeller long behind us and the coal industry in decline, West Virginia is now a Republican or red state, even though we have a Democratic Governor and one of our Senators is a Democrat. All three Representatives are Republican, the State House and Senate are Republican, and the state went Republican in the last two presidential elections.

Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (before he suspended his campaign) visited the state. Polls showed Trump winning the primary even before Cruz pulled out. Not only has both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigned in the state but Bill Clinton was even here stumping for his wife. The polls show a close race between Sanders and Clinton and they both seem to be fighting for the state’s democratic vote.

The collection of signs in this photo, however, tells a different story. Not a single sign for any presidential candidate appears. While I have seen a few Trump signs and a few Cruz placards as I have travelled around West Virginia’s northern panhandle, I have not seen a single sign for Kasich, Clinton or Sanders. I have heard Sanders’ ads on the radio and seen ads for both Sanders and Clinton on local television. I can’t recall if I have heard or seen any local Cruz or Trump ads.

West Virginians will be electing a Governor this year. There is only one Republican running but three Democrats and I have heard and seen ads for all three. We will also be electing a State Supreme Court Justice and I have seen and heard ads for candidates in that non-partisan race as well. Unless I am wrong, however, not a single sign for Governor or Supreme Court Justice appears in this photo.

I live in the county just north of Ohio County, where I captured this photo, so I am not that familiar with some of the candidates whose signs appear. That there is no sign for a presidential candidate of either party, or even a sign for governor or Supreme Court Justice does indeed seem to prove that all politics is local.

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