Republicans are worried about their own guy…
Not Democratic Senator Joe Manchin….
Democats couldn’t be happier….
Coal baron Don Blankenship, tarred by a mining accident that killed 29 people, is one of the three leading Republican contenders in the West Virginia Senate race — which is quickly becoming one of the most-watched campaigns of 2018. Washington Republicans are doing their best to stop him and Blankenship is fighting back in a campaign increasingly filled with nasty and personal insults.
Meanwhile, Democratic groups actually appear to be propping up Blankenship by targeting his competitors with a TV ad barrage leading up to the May 8 primary.
Come November, West Virginia will be a top Republican target. It’s become something of a miracle the state still has a statewide Democrat at all, though Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has a long history within the state. But he’s in choppy waters. While it has a working-class Democratic history, West Virginia went for Donald Trump by 42 points and hasn’t gone for a Democrat in the presidential election since 1996.
“There’s a very strong anti-establishment sentiment in West Virginia, and there’s also an ‘it can’t get any worse’ sentiment,” Patrick Hickey, a political science professor at West Virginia University, told me. “We’re just trying to shake it up.”
Blankenship is the GOP primary’s wild card. The former Massey Energy CEO has an extensive personal fortune and deep West Virginia ties in the state’s marquee industry. Then again, he also has a criminal conviction, and many voters in the state will never forgive him for the Upper Big Branch mining accident…..
West Virginia Senate hopeful Don Blankenship is intensifying his offensive against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him “Cocaine Mitch” in a new TV ad released just over a week until the Republican primary.
“Blankenship… offers no context for the jab. But he may be referring to a 2014 report in the liberal Nation magazine that drugs were once found aboard a shipping vessel owned by the family of McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.”