Well, I can’t say for sure what will, or has changed the minds of folks in Appalachia, but the hard core of the Lynchburg/Roanoak area is the most conservative place in Virginia, if not the world. Having the possibility of a public endorsement of a democrat for president seems to me to be a wake up call. Hope the Republicans sleep on.
My sister is a Shenandoah Valley resident, and long term politically inactive democrat, mostly because it was pointless trying to change the minds of folks who haven’t voted Democratic since Harry F. Byrd. ran the Virginia Democratic Party. All down the mountains things are changing. Folks are worried, and pissed off at the government, and the government is Republicans. I think the Republican party is in for a rude shock next week. Thousands of new voters this year. Tens of thousands, perhaps. And most of them are registering because they think maybe it’s time for a change. A change that they believe in.
Will Stanley make a difference? I think he is more a symptom of the difference, than the cause of it. Remember what happened to country musicians who criticized Republicans eight, or four years ago? That isn’t happening. Noticing that the Bush administration has been a dismal failure in every aspect of governance just doesn’t take much thought. And the folks in the hills have never been as stupid as the folks in the cities thought. Loyal, patriotic, and trusting, yes. Stupid? Not so much.
If McCain doesn’t burn Bush in effigy at a public venue, he is not going to be able to “distance” himself from him. The ninety percent figure is not a made up thing. Folks are not going to believe it, without hearing from the man how badly the country has been run, and what he will do to change that. And there is not enough time for that, now.