Democrats Dilemma

Democrats current dilemma in West Virginia is not unlike that confronted by Republicans over the last fifty years.  During those years Republicans seemed only to win elections with candidates named Moore or Underwood.  The Party was never strong, organized, well financed, working together or developing the future.  Besides, with few exceptions, the GOP faced the problem of Democrats voting a straight ticket.

All that began to change in 1996.  Though the national Democratic ticket was headed by popular incumbent President Bill Clinton, Democrat voters showed they knew how to crossover.   WV Democrats helped Republicans elect the only non-incumbent Governor in the nation that year – Cecil Underwood.  Little did anyone realize or think then the GOP dilemma was being transferred to the Democrats.

Like the Republicans in the 20th Century only a few famous names Byrd, Randolph, Rockefeller and more recently Manchin have carried the Democrats to victory.  Though Democrats have won statewide Board of Public Works offices the 2011 primary special election for Governor showed none have emerged to take the place of the famous.

A two-party system appears to be in the making for West Virginia.

It started seventeen years ago with Underwood getting majority party voters to place an X by his name.  The next step was in 2000 when voters made Governor George W. Bush the first non-incumbent Republican presidential candidate to carry the WV in seventy years.  Another Moore (Shelley Moore Capito) entered the scene that year winning a seat in Congress while Bush won again in 2004 and the Republican legislative pick up in 2012.  There have been other GOP wins in state races strengthening the move to a two party state.

Not sure what is happening in the Democrat party, but from the outside the dilemma appears to me not unlike what Republicans have faced for fifty years, too few known names, a lack of organization, adequate funds, a united team and a bench to assure the future.

West Virginia will be the winner if the dilemma ends for both parties.  Nothing would be better for our State than the checks and balances brought on by a strong two party system.

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One Response to “Democrats Dilemma”

  1. Jeremy Bauserman says:

    A very insightful article Bill. We are just 5 House seats away from a GOP majority in the House of Delegates. 2014 will be very interesting in this state.

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