Despite narrowly electing Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in 2010, West Virginia has trended steadily more Republican ever since. And now, the shift in zeitgeist has apparently tricked up, as the state’s Democratic Governor has announced that he will not endorse President Obama for reelection, while also stopping just short of endorsing Mitt Romney.
West Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he is not endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election, saying the president “has apparently made it his mission to drive the backbone of West Virginia’s economy, coal and the energy industry, out of business.”
Tomblin is running for re-election in the heavily Democratic and major coal-producing state this year. He won a special election for the governorship last year after Gov. Joe Manchin was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010.
“As a loyal member of the Democratic party and as governor for our state, I will continue to do everything I can, including suing the EPA, to get the president to change the misguided policies that are hurting West Virginians,” Tomblin added in his statement.
Tomblin said he is not supporting presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney either.
This is only going to further complicate President Obama’s pitch to blue collar workers, as West Virginia has one of the most blue collar populations in the union. It also complicates President Obama’s pitch as being a pro-energy President, giving Republicans yet one more talking point to use against the President. If Tomblin plays his cards right, he could end up giving a speech at the Republican National Convention a la Zell Miller in 2004.