When Virginia decided to secede from the Union in 1861, West Virginia decided to stay with Lincoln and the North. The rest of Virginia became a strongly Democratic state.
In the 1996 election Bill Clinton won West Virginia by 15 points over Bob Dole. Meanwhile Virginia had become a solidly Republican state ever since 1968, and sure enough Bob Dole carried Virginia itself. Things sure have changed over the past 16 years.
In this election Romney destroyed Obama in West Virginia, winning by around 27 points, his biggest margin east of the Mississippi. A swing of 42 points from the 1996 election. And Romney didn’t just win West Virginia, he swept the entire Appalachian region. Meanwhile Obama won Virginia for the second time in a row.
West Virginia symbolizes the future of the GOP, while Virginia symbolizes the future of the Democratic Party. Which party has a brighter future?
PS. Thank God for the voters of Colorado. For the first time in American history a state voted to legalize marijuana, and not just “for medicinal purposes.” Maybe I should retire there, instead of California.