Thursday, May 05, 2005

The deep waters of gun control and abortion in Virginia?

After the presidential election, filmmaker Michael Moore posted a map dividing the United States into Kerry "blue states" and Bush "red states." The red states he dubbed "Jesusland."

Following suit, the blog Virginia Centrist has posted a map, mocking Southwest Virginia, "a mostly unpopulated area" with many "creeks."

The map reminded Salt Lick of an article written by Roanoke Times' political reporter Michael Sluss two days after the presidential election (November 4, 2004): "Rural vote plays key role in Bush's Southern sweep. Virginia Democrats engineered their most aggressive voter turnout in recent memory to no avail."

Salt Lick really never has much understood politics, but he's been impressed with Mr. Sluss and figures he probably understands things pretty well. Here are some of the things Mr. Sluss reported:

Bush won nearly 54 percent of the Virginia vote, but his majorities were much greater west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. he got 63 percent of the vote in the 6th congressional District, which stretches from Roanoke to the northern Shenandoah Valley, and 59 percennt in the 9th dDistrict, which covers most of Southwest Virginia.

In interviews with The Roanoke Times' reporters and in exit polling commissioned by The Associated Press in Virginia, many Bush supporters cited social issues and the president's religious faith as key considerations in their votes.

Democratic consultant Dave "Mudcat" Saunders of Roanoke County had harsh words for his party Wednesday..."You can't talk policy because you can't get through the culture."

[Mark] Warner acknowledged Tuesday that Democrats have a hard time making their case on policy matters in Virginia if they can't neutralize hot-button isues such as gun control and abortion.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Time Kaine...said Virginia voters want evidence of "moral grounding" in candidates. "If they know what your moral grounding is, then they know how you'll respond to a particular problem or crisis," Kaine said.

Yep, standing on firm ground is important, especially when those creeks rise.