John Wolfe making a stunning showing against Barack Obama

John Wolfe making a stunning showing against Barack Obama

May 20th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

John Wolfe

John Wolfe

Photo by Patrick Smith /Times Free Press.

In case you hadn't noticed, a Democrat by the name of John Wolfe is making a stunning showing in the upcoming Arkansas primary against President Barack Obama.

Yes, that John Wolfe. Our John Wolfe: the Chattanooga-area attorney who previously has sought Tennessee's 3rd District seat in Congress.

In Arkansas' 4th congressional district, for instance, a recent poll puts support for Obama among Democratic primary voters at only 45 percent, compared with Wolfe's 38 percent. An additional 17 percent are undecided.

Perhaps this shouldn't be such a surprise. Obama has failed famously in his attempts to connect with blue-collar voters. Recall his remarks in 2008 about working-class people who "get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Even then-rival Hillary Clinton labeled the remarks "elitist and out of touch," and her campaigners in North Carolina passed out stickers reading, "I'm not bitter."

Today, while there is no threat that Wolfe will wrest the nomination from Obama, the disaffection toward Obama among more moderate Democrats remains.

Did you hear about the West Virginia Democratic primary? Here is Businessweek's take on the May 8 vote: "A federal inmate who is running for president won 42 percent of the vote in West Virginia's Democratic primary yesterday. ... Keith Judd is serving time at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Texas for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999. ... With 70,348 voters, Obama won the primary with 57 percent."

Wolfe, speaking with National Review Online, put Obama's problem with many Democrats rather simply: "He doesn't understand them," Wolfe said, citing issues such as health care reform.

Come November, we'll find out whether Obama's lack of connection with those voters drives them into the Romney camp -- or discourages them to such a degree that they decide to stay home on Election Day altogether.