With 72% of precincts reporting, People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) can project Patrick Morrisey has won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in West Virginia. He now will go on to face vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in November.
Mr. Morrisey led Rep. Evan Jenkins 35.2% to 28.8%. The victory for the attorney general was undoubtedly an upset over Congressman Jenkins. He ran up the counties and margins in the central, northern and eastern regions of the state, while Rep. Jenkins performed strong in the South and West.
President Donald Trump on Monday urged voters not to support Don Blankenship, a former coal mining executive who spent a year in prison for his role in a fatal mining explosion.
“To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way!” President Trump tweeted. “Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!”
To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Mr. Blankenship, who said he was “more Trumpier than Trump,” carried Calhoun County, Roane County, Clay County and Mingo County. President Trump carried the state against Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 40 points, or 68% of the vote.
Nevertheless, a PPD Big Data Poll in West Virginia conducted before tax reform found 4 in 10 voters who approved of both President Trump and Senator Manchin said they would abandon the incumbent if he did not support tax reform. He did not.
Meanwhile, Senator Manchin outspent Paula Jean Swearengin, an unknown candidate by nearly 19-to-1. Yet, he still lost nearly 31% of the vote after receiving 80% in the 2012 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate vs. a conservative challenger. Recent polling shows 53% want him gone and just over 30% say he should be re-elected.
The race for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia is now rated Leans Republican on the PPD Election Projection Model.