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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Tell Your West Virginia Friends to Vote Today!



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The Tuesday Morning Jolt features Obama’s admission that Americans aren’t better off now than they were four years ago, a look at the reshuffled primary schedule, and . . . oh yes, it’s election day in West Virginia.

Take Us Home, Country Roads, to the Place . . . Maloney Could Win: West Virginia!

Having been too optimistic about GOP chances in some past cycles (see 2006, and my sense of Obama’s margin of victory 2008) I’m always a little wary about getting too excited. A short while ago I took a long look at the special gubernatorial election in West Virginia and concluded, “While [Republican Brian ]Maloney remains an underdog, he appears to be surging. A defeat of [Democrat Acting Gov. Earl Ray] Tomblin might rank alongside Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts or Bob Turner’s recent win in New York’s ninth congressional district — as a sign that Obama’s stances and record have severely damaged the Democratic party’s image and reputation, even in its most secure political strongholds. A Maloney win would also declare that the era of business as usual in West Virginia’s state government has finally come to an end.

Now Public Policy Polling finds, “The race for Governor of West Virginia is looking more and more like a toss up, with Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin now leading Republican Bill Maloney only 47-46. Tomblin’s lead was 46-40 on a poll conducted at the beginning of September and he had led by as large a margin as 33 points earlier in the year. A lot of money has been spent on attacking Tomblin in the closing weeks of the campaign and that appears to be taking its toll on the Governor’s image. His net approval has dropped 13 points in the last four weeks from +25 (50/25) to just +12 (44/32). Attempts to saddle Tomblin with the burden of Barack Obama might be having an impact as well — the President’s approval in the state is just 28%, with 63% of voters disapproving of him.”

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey looks at the PPP numbers and concludes, “The news is probably worse for Democrats than PPP lets on. Their polling sample gave Democrats a 20-point advantage, 55/35/9. In 2010, with the popular Manchin at the top of the ticket, CNN’s exit polling showed a much narrower edge for Democrats, 41/35/24. Since Jensen himself notes that Manchin would beat Maloney by thirty points, it’s hard to see why Democrats would add 14 points to their edge from 2010 while Republicans lose two points and two-thirds of independents disappear. If we reweighted the response to reflect the 2010 exit polling, I’d bet that Maloney would be leading this race outside of the margin of error. We’ll certainly know after tomorrow.”

If you know someone registered to vote in West Virginia, give them a call today.

I’m going to periodically repeat my in-case-of-technical-emergency message here; if you delete these e-mails when you’re done, I suggest you jot down Russ’s e-mail address. Because if you send your ‘Hey, why didn’t I get my e-mail?’ message to me, you’ll get my usual “Uh . . . did you check your spam folder?” response. Russell Jenkins of NR, who actually knows about these things, has agreed to be the go-to guy for subscription issues. He can, at the very least, check to make sure the e-mail address is still on the distribution list. So if you have any problems or issues, e-mail [email protected]. And thank him. He’s a lot more useful than I am!


Tags: Bill Maloney , Earl Ray Tomblin , West Virginia


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