The results of the Kentucky and Arkansas Primaries illustrated the problems of both candidates within their own party.
Barack Obama was held under 60% in both Arkansas and Kentucky. Spin this at we might. It’s embarrassing to an incumbent President with no serious opposition to be given these sort of margins and this is the 4th time in the Cycle that Obama has been held under 60%. The other times were Oklahoma and Virginia.
The spin on this will be that this is irrelevant because these guys are racist and from deep red states. Obama’s problem is not these states but that there are Democrats in places like North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida that thing a lot like Democrats in these other states. Of course, they don’t exist in near the numbers that they do in these states, but they don’t have to exist in the same numbers to put Obama in serious electoral peril.
At the same time, Mitt Romney’s not doing all that well either. He won 67% in Kentucky, running 5 points behind John McCain’s 2008 percentage despite the presence of Obama and the lack of official opposition. He picked up a similar percentage in Arkansas. Note to Team Romney: If you’re creating less enthusiasm among the grassroots than John McCain, you are in trouble.
So both candidate are in trouble with serious issues within their own party, and an indifferent reaction from most voters. As we turn to the fall mudslinging season, expect this election to come down to which option the voters dislike least.