GOP fervor fades in reliably Republican corner of Missouri

The Kansas City StarOctober 25, 2008 

JOPLIN, Mo. _ A lull in the line of customers allows Carolyn Pendergraft to preach a spell from behind the glass-top counter at Dude’s Donuts.

“God allows government to be set up … to punish the bad people. OK? And if you (voters) let the bad people come in, they’ll punish the good people.”

She smiles, an extraordinarily cheery and, at 73, hard-toiling woman. For half a century in the same squat building on Joplin’s Main Street, she and husband Durard, or “Dude”, have served a clientele that doesn’t mind sprinkles of salvation and civics with their doughnuts.

“As the United States becomes more and more turned away from God,” she continues, “he’ll punish this nation. And we will fall and become the slaves of other countries. … With our indebtedness today to China and other countries, we already are” enslaved.

You’re in southwest Missouri, deeply religious and reliably Republican.

But if the proprietors and customers of Dude’s speak to anything, it’s to a longing for a candidate who stirs true passion.

Read the complete story at

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