May 10th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Candidates walk a fine line on two sides of the U.S.

BEND, Oregon (CNN) - As they say in real estate, location, location, location. Sometimes where a candidate stumps is more telling than what they say on the stump. Today, Sen. Barack Obama is in Oregon, thousands of miles from the next primary state, West Virginia.

Campaigning in Bend, Oregon, Obama visited PV Powered, a company that produces photovoltaic cells a key component in solar energy systems. Not surprisingly Obama spoke about "investments in clean energy" and creating green jobs. The candidate, during a press availability this morning, even used a microphone he touted to reporters as partially solar powered.

Green plays well in Oregon, markedly less so in places like Kentucky and West Virginia, two other upcoming primary states where the coal industry provides thousands of jobs - at least 40,000 in West Virginia alone, and more than 15,000 in Kentucky.

The mayor of Beckley, West Virginia, Emmett Pugh, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama. Pugh puts it plainly, “coal is still a very powerful force in West Virginia.”

Three days from now, West Virginians will cast votes in their state primary and polls show Sen. Hillary Clinton holds a massive lead over Obama - 66 percent to 23 percent, according to a survey released Friday from the American Research Group.

Obama hasn’t entirely given up on Coal Country. He plans to campaign in both West Virginia and Kentucky on Monday.

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