Surprising victor announced in highly contested West Virginia GOP primary

11 May 2018, 02:02 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Don Blankenship Just Lost

Donald J. Trump on Twitter:

But Trump's unpredictable nature and the swirl of controversies surrounding him has made their task more hard.

As we've seen in recent reports, Republicans do not want Donald Trump himself going out there making the rounds and campaigning for people because as we've seen through all the special elections in the a year ago and a half, hasn't really worked out all that great for them. Braun ran in Trump's mold, deriding the "swamp" and using his more traditional opponents as foils.

Jenkins conceded the race shortly after 10 p.m.

A day after the controversial Senate candidacy of Don Blankenship was soundly defeated in the West Virginia Republican primary, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell boasted that his strategy paid off. That mission was to bring a much-needed Republican vote to the Senate, and you all have done me proud. Blankenship had 20 percent.

Manchin ducked when asked if he'd accept a Blankenship endorsement, saying he'd have "no control" over that and hadn't talked to Blankenship recently.

Braun sought to draw a sharp contrast with Rokita and Messer. This is only moving them away from the center where most Americans tend to gravitate, especially as those who voted for the president see their taxes lowered, American hostages returned from North Korea, and most importantly, the trust in votes cast fulfilled.

Fears about nominating a candidate outside the mainstream escalated in recent weeks, particularly in West Virginia. Despite voting in favor of the White House's agenda 61 percent of the time, the president has targeted Manchin, the lone Democratic senator in a state Trump won by 42 percentage points in 2016 and remains extremely popular.

Morrisey will face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin in November. Tuesday was also an excellent night for female candidates, as progressive activist Kathy Manning won the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Rep. Ted Budd, and incumbent Democratic Rep. Alma Adams won her primary. But after Roy Moore's collapse in Alabama last December, party leaders didn't want to deal with Blankenship's baggage.

"Your interference in the West Virginia election displayed a lack of understanding of the likely outcome of the upcoming general election", Blankenship added. It should be recognized that the Republian nominees selected by voters this past Tuesday are not extremists or radicals, but commonsense conservatives determined to do the right thing.

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"We maintained neutrality, we were not pushing the vote out", in the gubernatorial race, Pepper said.

Trump called Blankenship Wednesday and while Thomas wouldn't go into detail about what was said it doesn't sound like the conversation changed Blankenship's mind about going after Morrisey. And Morrisey is the better man anyway.

But Blankenship won't be going away quietly, Thomas said.

Morrisey, Blankenship, and Jenkins emerged as frontrunners and kept that lead throughout the campaign. I really don't think so. There is no doubt that he was responsible for that mine accident.

Speaking Tuesday night at his Charleston headquarters, he said he expects Trump to get involved in the contest, despite Manchin's "good relationship" with the president.

Blankenship, a Republican from Williamson who spent a year in prison in the wake of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, finished third in the primary balloting.

The senator says he plans to campaign as he always has: a bipartisan problem solver who works "for West Virginians".

An adviser close to McConnell watched with glee as Blankenship called the race. She immigrated to the United States from Taiwan as a child.

Republicans followed Trump's advice, delivered via tweet Monday, and rejected Blankenship. But with a chance to pick up a seat that has been Democratic since the Eisenhower administration (when former Klansman Robert Byrd won the seat), the GOP faced the nightmare scenario of blowing that chance, owing to picking an unelectable nominee in the primary. Trump won IN by 19 points. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey beat Rep. If that fails, the majority party can pass a shorter-term map. He has raised money for select candidates, addressed the Republican National Committee at their meeting last week in Florida and campaigned for failed House candidate Rick Saccone in a special election earlier this year.

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