Will Trump win big in West Virginia in November? It would appear so. From the ABC News exit poll:
West Virginia Democratic voters were among least liberal so far this year; fewer than half said they were liberals, vs. an average of 62 percent in previous Democratic contests. And in one last notable result, about a third in preliminary exit poll results said that, given a Clinton-Donald Trump or a Sanders-Trump race, a third said they’d vote for Trump in both cases – a high level of support for Trump among Democratic primary voters, marking both the depth of the Clinton-Sanders rivalry in the state and its unusual Democratic voter profile.
The NBC News exit poll found the same one-third but different results for Clinton and Sanders' voters which leads to a different question: Did Trump supporters contribute significantly to Sanders' win over Clinton? From the NBC News exit poll:
A third of those who voted in West Virginia's Democratic primary say they plan to back Trump in November, according to NBC News exit polls. Sanders won those voters by a wide margin.
In fact, 39 percent of Sanders voters said they would vote for Trump over Sanders in the fall. For Clinton, nine percent of her voters say they plan to come out for Trump in the general election.
Interesting percentages although there may be an explanation:
West Virginia has an open primary, meaning independents can vote in the Democratic contest. With the GOP nomination wrapped up, it's possible mischievous Trump supporters sought to damage Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, by voting for Sanders.
There was also a competitive Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday — and no Republican one — so Trump voters might have turned out for that and then weighed in on the presidential ballot line while they were at it.
I would also add that our trade policy might be a major factor -- on that issue, Sanders and Trump are probably more similar to each other than Sanders is to Clinton. The CBS News exit poll puts the Trump-connection number even higher:
Forty-four percent of Sanders supporters surveyed said they would rather back the presumptive GOP nominee in November, with only 23 percent saying they'd support Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. And 31 percent said [they] would support neither candidate in the likely general election match-up.
Again, are these numbers the result of 25 years of mainstream Democratic support of trade treaties? Or is the anti-Clinton portion of the WV electorate that large? Or, perhaps, was this some mischief by the Trump people as the NBC poll reporter hints?
If you find these questions thought-provoking, you can read more about this along with some pointed discussion over at Daily Kos. Here is the main post on the WV Democratic primary exit poll although the primary has been discussed in a number of diaries since Tuesday.
A blog post like this one makes me wish that I had an easier way for readers to comment. (My hunch is that there are some interesting opinions out there among my readership.) To that end, I recently wrote to the Silvrback administrator about alternatives to the Disqus comment system and he/she is looking into it. Until that changes, you can use the link to my old blog's contact page here or on my Bio page to let me know your thoughts. If you like, I'll add them at the bottom of this post as an update.