West Virginia Political Ad Filmed at South Philly Diner

How the Oregon Diner might influence election results south of the Mason-Dixon Line

The Oregon Diner may have a profound effect on who takes control of the United States Senate.

The battle for the Senate really comes down to 18 seats. If the Republicans can take 10 of them, they have the majority. Of the states where seats are in contention, the one that gets the least national attention is West Virginia.

Not anymore. And it is all because of something that happened at the Oregon Diner in South Philly.

The seat up for grabs is the one formerly held by Robert Byrd, who died in office. Governor Joe Manchin is trying to keep the seat in the “D” column and finish the two years remaining in term, but he is facing an unexpected strong challenge from businessman John Raese (pronounced racy).

This is a seat that the Republicans never dreamed they could win. But Barack Obama lost the state in 2008, and his popularity continues to wane. So, the National GOP Senate Committee is spending $1.3 million on TV ads to make certain that when people think of Joe Manchin, they think of Barack Obama.

And that brings us back to the Oregon Diner.

There is an ad running in West Virginia that shows three good ol’ boys sharing coffee. From the ad you can imagine a back story that they were all laid off from the local coal mine and they gather over breakfast to share their anger.

name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”>Politico. The Democrats also released the casting call for the spot, which stereotypes West Virginians. “We are going for a ‘Hicky’ Blue Collar. These characters are from West Virginia so think coal miner/trucker looks.”

As for a suggested wardrobe, the Princeton-based firm wanted “jeans, work boots, flannel shirt, denim shirt, Dickies type jacket with t-shirt underneath, down-filled vest, John Deere hats (not brand new, preferably beat up) and trucker hats (not brand new, preferably beat up).”

It all feeds into the way West Virginians believe people from Philadelphia and Princeton think of them. It remains to be seen if tying Raese to an East Coast firm seemingly mocking West Virginians will have any effect on the campaign. If the Democrats are smart, they are working on a counter TV ad exposing the Raese ad as phony.

The latest poll shows Raese up six points. If things turn around, it could be because of what happened in South Philly a couple of weeks back.