The National Republican Congressional Committee says President Barack Obama's embarrassing showing in West Virginia's primary Tuesday is a sign of things to come in the general election.
President Obama earned only 59 percent of the vote in West Virginia's primary, with Keith Judd, a convict currently serving out an extortion sentence in a Texas prison, garnering 41 percent.
"The president's policies met blue collar reality in West Virginia last night," Deputy Chairman of the NRCC Greg Walden said. "There is a story underneath the surface here that he's got some problems in sort of blue-collar, energy belt states because his policies are so extreme." [Photo Gallery: President Barack Obama's Re-election Campaign.]
The NRCC says that the Obama Administration's increased regulation on energy and the blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline weigh heavily on the minds of voters whose livelihoods depend on manufacturing and mining jobs.
"This is part of the economy," Walden said. "This is part of the notion that I hear wherever I go around the country and certainly in my district is [there is an] assault from Washington from the rule making bodies on manufacturing and jobs." [Republicans: Obama the Hype and Blame Candidate.]
The NRCC says constituents in mining and manufacturing states including Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia don't trust the president on energy. While it's unlikely Obama would pick up a victory in Kentucky or lose in his homestate of Illinois, Walden says Obama has implemented tough regulations on manufacturing that make him vulnerable in the swing state of Virginia — a state he won in 2008.
"If you are in a state where you electricity is being generated by coal, which is nearly every state, and your prices are going up...Energy is an issue," Walden says.