West Virginia: Where Kerry Is Trying to Avoid Gore's Pitfalls:
Stronger turnout in the south, combined with anti-Bush sentiment in the northern steel belt, where many voters are angry about Mr. Bush's stand on steel tariffs, could be enough to win the state, they contend. Mr. Bush imposed tariffs on imported steel in March 2002 and lifted them at the end of last year, citing an improving economy and cost cutting by domestic steel makers.
Mark Glyptis, president of the Independent Steelworkers Union, said many mill workers in the northern panhandle voted for Mr. Bush in 2000 out of disgust with the free trade policies of the Clinton administration. The union even backed Patrick J. Buchanan in 2000 in protest. But it has come out enthusiastically for Mr. Kerry this year.
"People feel betrayed," Mr. Glyptis said. "Bush said he would stay the course on tariffs, and then he lifted them."
The Kanawha River Valley around Charleston has also struggled economically, with Dow Chemical, an automobile plant and other companies laying off thousands of workers in just the past year. The toll has been so severe that the long-serving Republican mayor of South Charleston, who is also a presidential elector, recently said he might cast his electoral vote for Mr. Kerry, even if Mr. Bush wins the state.
The mayor, Richie Robb, said he was uneasy about Mr. Bush's policies on tax cuts and Iraq.
"I have admired President Bush's resoluteness," Mr. Robb said. "But at a certain point, I have to wonder whether it is a misguided resolve."
Republicans say that the economy is improving and that Mr. Bush's proposals for tax cuts and limits on lawsuits will create employment. But they acknowledge continuing problems. . . .
[note in that last graf, the mention of lawsuit reform Along with "liberal," it seems to be Bush's 3d act talking point. Aiming, I'd assume, at taking knocking down some of Edwards's southern popularity.]
Republican mailings have accused liberals of wanting to ban the Bible. And fliers distributed in church parking lots say Mr. Kerry favors "anti-Christian, anti-God, antifamily" judges, same-sex marriage and abortion.
Mr. Kerry says that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but that states should be allowed to decide their rules.
The attacks have clearly affected people like Bill Poston, 47, a printer here. Mr. Poston is upset about the Iraq war and says many of Mr. Bush's domestic policies have been failures. He even likes what Mr. Kerry says about health care. But he is upset about the possibility of same-sex marriage and is convinced that Mr. Bush will be a "more moral leader." "My minister thinks Bush is a very moral person," Mr. Poston said. "He believes he is being led by God."
[The terrorists are also led by "God." In case anyone was wondering.]