How can Barack Obama a)lose in Kentucky and West Virginia by about 30% points to Hillary Clinton and b)afford to lose in Kentucky and West Virginia by about 30%. Lets examine the first point. In state after state in the Democratic primary, the turnout for the primaries has been record breaking. The news media have testimonial after testimonial showing Ohioans, then Pennsylvannians, then Oregonians etc – delighted to be a not just a part of the political process but influencing a tight Democratic presidential primary race. Note to Republican Party insiders – you may want to change the “winner take all” primary voting that gets a quick candidate, and go back to proportional delegate counts.
So the Democratic primary campaign has been a local blessing to the party because it has proven in state after state to the local people that they and their votes matter. This can only benefit the Democratic Party in the upcoming general election in November.
So how do you get a 30% whupping in say Kentucky or West Virginia? Don’t show up to campaign. Do what has helped the Republicans win the White House twice in the 21st century when they shouldn’t have – write-off various states and constituencies and campaign substantially less in the state than your opponent. That is how Barack got a whupping.
Next question – can you afford a whupping? It depends. If you are trying to give Hillary Clinton an opportunity to “win big” and thus have an opportunity to leave the campaign graciously, then perhaps a Kentucky and West Virginia are worth the while. You match the whupping you have taken with the reverse whupping to Hillary in the state(s) where you have campaigned heavily. Net effect on delegate lead – minimal, your opponent finally conceding, priceless.