Mingo County, deep in the southwest corner of West Virginia, has sent a “protest vote” to the attention of President Obama. In the May 8 Democratic primary, voters chose a man named Keith Judd to run for president. He got 61 percent of the vote.

Judd won’t be available. He’s serving a 17-year sentence for extortion. From prison in Texas, he managed to file the papers, pay the fee and get on the West Virginia ballot.

Obama did win statewide, but Judd beat him in the coal mining region, where many believe the president is waging a “War on Coal.”

In West Virginia, residents vote the way they want to vote: Republicans have won the state in the last three presidential elections. But the governor (Earl Ray Tomblin) and both U.S. senators (Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin) are Democrats.

But still, how could a president running in his party’s primary lose 10 counties to a guy in prison?