Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

President Trump weighs in on W. Va. Senate race


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. Manchin's seat is a top target of Republicans in this year's midterm elections.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that Blakenship can not win the general election on Tuesday and suggested that West Virginians should either vote for Morrisey or the establishment-backed Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV). Problem is, Don Blankenship, now running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State...

Two sane Republicans - Rep. Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrissey - also are running, and either one would make a good nominee.

"Laws exist for a reason", Morrisey said in a statement.

Standing in the backroom of an empty restaurant, Morrisey struck a dire tone with the dozen or so supporters who came out to see him: "This race has changed a lot".

"I think he's getting bad information", Blankenship said.

That sense has been felt for weeks, not only in West Virginia but back in Washington, DC, where top Republicans have anxious Blankenship could win Tuesday's primary.

The situation strikes a similar chord to Roy Moore's successful Alabama senatorial primary campaign against incumbent Luther Strange and ultimate defeat to Democratic candidate Doug Jones last December.

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Also three shots back were Bryson DeChambeau (66), Paul Casey (69) and Wise. "It depends on what the other guys do obviously". Woods picked up six birdies to reach one-under 212 but finished the round on a sour note with a three-putt bogey on 18.

The former coal baron recently served a one-year prison sentence on a conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety laws, following the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in 2010 that killed 29 people.

Morrisey also released a 30-second robo call on Saturday that slammed Blankenship and accused him at a press conference on Sunday of flouting ethics rules.

Two weeks ago Blankenship was trailing both candidates.

He has also made weird attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a major part of his campaign platform, standing by his use of the racial slur "Chinaperson" to describe McConnell's father-in-law, and arguing in a campaign ad that McConnell "has created millions of jobs for China people".

You can read his full statement here. "His motivations are not pure".

Blankenship responded by casting Trump Jr.as part of "the establishment". Trump endorsed Moore in that race.

That hasn't stopped Blankenship from using Trump to help his case. And the similarities are unmistakable. 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.

And yet Blankenship is leading the field. He has, for example, dubbed Mr. McConnell "Cocaine Mitch", a reference to claims that drugs were found on a ship owned by Mr. McConnell's father-in-law.

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IN and OH represent less treacherous scenarios for Republicans, but the GOP primary in the Hoosier State has been an all-out brawl to be President Trump's most loyal foot-soldier in the Senate. "Regardless of who wins the nomination tomorrow, there's going to be an angry split in the Republican Party", he said.

"I have not ruled out anything", Blankenship told CBS News.

"We're excited that President Trump gave us a shout out this morning", Jenkins told FOX.

The strategy of turning himself into Trump has impressed even some national Republicans skeptical of his bid. "Most of these states did support Trump by more than just a few points".

"Todd Rokita puts on a MAGA hat, he runs around the state, but on the tough votes...he's against President Trump", GOP Rep. Luke Messer said of his Republican House colleague Rokita in a debate last month.

"I hate to lose".

"To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference", Trump wrote on Twitter.

"No more fumbles like Alabama", he added. "Let's find the very best person in West Virginia and not have a situation where we can't compete in November".

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Blankenship said Trump doesn't know him, and blamed the Washington establishment for swaying the president against him. The super PAC - Duty & Country PAC - has spent $142,000 this week in a mix of web and TV ads attacking Jenkin and has spent close to $1.5 million in the race so far. "They said it's like being late on a credit card payment".

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