May 11, 1960
No doubt the headlines in the big daily newspapers all over the country this afternoon and tomorrow morning will carry big stories to the effect that Senator John F. Kennedy has won a big victory in the West Virginia Presidential Primary held yesterday and that he will be unstoppable now in his drive for the Democratic nomination for President at the National Convention this summer.
As this is being written it is too soon to tell how large a margin of victory Kennedy will enjoy when the final returns are in but the radio commentators are describing his victory as overwhelming on the basis of about two-third of the the precincts being reported. Whatever the final margin may be it will have two definite results. One is that Senator Humphrey is no longer in contention for the nomination and has said so.
The other result is that it gives the lie to the picture of the population of West Virginia being made up entirely of a bunch of ignorant, bigoted snake-worshipping indigents who were going to vote 95 per cent for Humphrey because they hated Roman Catholics. We sincerely hope that all those columnists, radio and television commentators and reporters who were so diligent in their efforts to picture us as described above will be honest enough to put the religious element in the campaign in its true perspective as evidenced by the vote in their learned analyses of the election return.
Whenever any of us objected that they were giving a distorted picture of our state and its people they righteously declared that all they had said was just the facts.
Well, here are the facts. Both Kennedy and Humphrey conducted the same campaign in West Virginia. They both promised all kinds of free government handouts to all of us indigents, they were both great liberals and they both had identical long lists of criticisms of the state and national Republican Administrations. As a result there were only two bases upon which the voters of this state could make their choice and those were in the personalities of the contenders and their respective religions and the religious issue could not have had much to do with it after all.
As to what this victory will mean to Kennedyís chances for the nomination we think that while it will enhance them somewhat, we still doubt that he will get it in the end. After all, all he got out of the West Virginia Primary was the knowledge that the people of this state like him better than they do Humphrey and donít hate Catholics enough to refuse to vote for them.
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