President Barack Obama continued to have trouble on Tuesday performing in Democratic primaries in traditionally conservative states, barely eking out wins in Kentucky and Arkansas.
The president didn’t even have an opponent in Kentucky, but with 99 percent of the vote counted, Obama took just 57.9 percent of the vote, with the remaining more than 42 percent of ballots cast for “uncommitted.”
In Arkansas, with 70 percent of the vote tallied, Obama nabbed just 59 percent of the vote. His opponent there, John Wolfe, was able to take 41 percent of the vote at that point, according to The Associated Press.
Wolfe, an attorney from Tennessee whose platform includes repealing “Obamacare,” was able to win several counties.
Mitt Romney fared better in the two primaries, but even the presumptive GOP nominee, who has had trouble exciting the conservative wing of his base, didn’t turn in a stellar performance.
While Kentucky and Arkansas are red states that the presumptive GOP nominee is expected to win easily in November and that John McCain took handily in 2008, Republicans were quick to tout Obama’s poor numbers in both states.
Obama didn’t pick up either state in the Democratic primary in 2008, when he was in a heated battle for the nomination with Hillary Clinton. He took only 30 percent of the primary vote in Kentucky and 26 percent of the vote in Arkansas, a state where Clinton was a clear favorite after her husband served as governor there for more than a decade.
This year was a low-turnout election with little draw for voters since both the Republican and Democratic primaries have been decided.
Voter turnout in Kentucky was just shy of 14 percent, with four congressional primaries — two Republican and two Democrat — the only other top-of-the-ballot contests being decided, with 99 percent of the vote counted.