In a show of President Obama’s unpopularity in West Virginia, a federal prison inmate captured 42 percent of the vote Tuesday in the state’s Democratic presidential primary.
Keith R. Judd — also known as Inmate No. 11593-051 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Beaumont, Texas — was on the ballot against Mr. Obama despite serving a 17-year sentence for extortion.
The latest unofficial totals from the West Virginia secretary of state’s office showed Mr. Obama receiving 57.7 percent of the vote against 42.2 percent for Judd, who was defeating the president in eight counties.
By gaining more than 15 percent of the vote, the inmate apparently will qualify to receive at least one delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. Judd was able to get on the state ballot by paying a $2,500 fee and filing a form.
Mr. Obama is not a popular figure in West Virginia, where some voters said they simply were voting against the president. He lost the 2008 primary there to Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Sen. Joe Manchin III, both Democrats, haven’t said whether they’ll endorse the president this year.
It’s not the first time a challenger has attracted significant support against Mr. Obama. In Oklahoma’s Democratic primary in March, pro-life activist Randall Terry received 18 percent of the vote in the primary, giving him one delegate.