Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Don Blankenship Reminds Voters That Trump Got It Wrong On Roy Moore

Shown here are maps and campaign signs at Republican headquarters in Wadsworth Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Renacci is a top GOP candidate in Ohio in Republicans’ bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown
Judith Alexander | 08 May, 2018, 01:37

Don Blankenship is a bad candidate who is now on his way to winning the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.

In urging a vote against Blankenship, Trump follows in the footsteps of his son - Donald Trump Jr. - who, at the end of last week, tweeted: "I hate to lose".

Republicans, who control both houses of Congress as well as the White House, are looking to break with election history dictating that the party of the president typically loses seats in mid-term elections.

"I'm honored that President Trump encouraged voters to cast their vote for me to Make America Great Again", he said in a statement.

The Republican president maintains a strong approval rating in West Virginia at 61 points, according to March polling from Morning Consult.

The Weekly Standard reported two internal campaign polls Monday that show Blankenship leading his competitors.

"Trump and Don are two guys who have similar experiences and similar backgrounds and similar thoughts and similar ideas on where the country should be headed", said Greg Thomas, Blankenship's top aide.

But he still has the possibility of becoming the Republican nominee for Senate on Tuesday, even though President Trump urged voters to support Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va. or Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Both Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey have positioned themselves as ardent Trump supporters, denouncing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" and echoing Trump's calls to "drain the swamp".

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Trump is citing Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who lost a special Senate election after allegations of past sexual misconduct.

As Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics explains, the keys to Democratic competitiveness in West Virginia are the economically left-leaning, culturally conservative working-class voters in the southwest part of the state.

"Problem is, Don Blankenship, now running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State", the president said.

Voting for the primary election takes place Tuesday.

Blankenship's statement blamed "the establishment" for Trump's comment about him and said he would defeat Manchin. Trump won the district by nearly 50 points in 2016, but the districts ancestrally blue roots and historic support for Manchin may create a competitive race in November.

But Blankenship, who was convicted on misdemeanor charges stemming from a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners, may in fact be the most Trumplike candidate, accusing the government of covering up its own failures and blaming his conviction on an Obama administration conspiracy. "I will beat Joe Manchin and ditch Cocaine Mitch, for the sake of the kids". Blankenship is one of 6 GOP candidates vying for the U.S. Senate seat that is now held by W.Va. Democrat Joe Manchin.

"I'm proud to have President Trump's support", he tweeted.

"No more fumbles like Alabama", he said. "We need to win in November". And yet, Trump is trying to stop him.

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