Yael T. Abouhalkah

Welcome to Missouri, President Obama (but we really don't like you)

Updated: 2013-07-28T00:26:56Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in Warrensburg on Wednesday, reportedly to talk about the improving economy. That’s encouraging news, indeed, for the country.

Obama will be surrounded by mostly adoring and respectful supporters because people attending the speech have to apply for tickets to it.

Still, you have to admire the president for this much: He's going to a state where he’s not really liked that much.

Consider Johnson County, Missouri, where Warrensburg is located.

In the 2012 general elections, Obama got only 37 percent of the vote, while Republican Mitt Romney captured almost all the rest.

In the congressional race that includes residents of Warrensburg and Johnson County, Republican incumbent Vicky Hartzler mounted a similar-sized, large victory over her Democratic opponent, Teresa Hensley.

Overall in Missouri, the president was defeated 54-44 percent by Romney in November of 2012.

But keep in mind that a large share of Obama’s votes came from the two Democratic strongholds in Kansas City south of the river and in St. Louis city. Obama got around 80 percent of the vote in both those places.

Everywhere else, Romney trounced Obama by a 60-40 margin.

Missouri’s antipathy for Obama does not end there.

In the 2013 legislative session, the GOP-controlled General Assembly cavalierly rejected his push to expand Medicaid benefits to improve health care for hundreds of thousands of Missourians.

And Missouri residents in polls remain opposed to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislation of his time in office so far.

Again, most Missourians will be respectful to the President of the United States on Wednesday. But that doesn’t mean a lot of residents have to pretend they like him. Because they don’t.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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