West Virginia is a state that went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the General Election, and that’s likely in no small part due to the high amount of blue-collar jobs that this state represents. And while they do have a Democratic senator, he is considerably more center-left than his more liberal colleagues.
This race is looking to be a very competitive one too, with many pundits rating it as a “toss-up”, and with many polls looking tight. With the somewhat shoddy turnout and performance of the Republicans in PA-18 (read my post-mortem on it here), it’s on Republicans now to get out and vote for the best candidate they can.
The favorite to win the Republican nomination right now is Evan Jenkins, the current representative of West Virginia’s 3rd District, a position he was elected to in 2014. Prior to that, he was a member of the West Virginia Senate, representing the state’s 5th district from 2002 to 2014, and before even that he represented the state’s 16th district in the house of delegates from 1994 to 2000.
Policy-wise, he was in favor of Trump’s move to rescind DACA, wants to remove restrictions on coal emissions, supported Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, voted to repeal Obamacare, and even had a talk with President Trump aboard Air Force One in August 2017 about the opioid crisis facing America today.
I would recommend people support him in the upcoming primary, however if he does not win for whatever reason, I will return to this race to cover whoever the nominee is.
On the Democratic side, the likely candidate to win their nomination is the incumbent, Joe Manchin. He has had a long political history that would take some time to go into detail about, however what you should know is that he has held this Senate seat since 2010.
Politically, he is more conservative than his colleagues, as previously mentioned. As such, he was one of the few, if not only Democrats to vote in favor for many of Trump’s nominations for cabinet positions, as well as supporting quite a few of Trump’s policies and bills in the Senate. In 2016, a rumor was circulating that Manchin would switch parties, however he has since stated that he will remain a Democrat so long as he stays in the Senate.
Who is likely to win? Well, it’s early days for polling as of yet with the primaries to occur on May 8th, however all hypothetical polls so far have Manchin winning (read one here), but it’s important to keep in mind that these polls have unbelievably low sample sizes, as low as 320, with a very high margin of error. In addition, no new polls have been conducted since September 2017, so things may have changed in the past 6 months as the campaign ramps up on both sides.
Between this and the “toss-up” rating, it’s my recommendation that people begin ramping up support for Evan Jenkins and attempt to get him into this Senate seat. Manchin may be more conservative than other Democrats, however at the end of the day he is still a Democrat, and will go against more of Trump’s policies than a Republican will.
Once again, thank you for checking out the blog, feedback is appreciated, and I’m always looking for new article ideas. Long live the Capitalist Army!
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