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Come on West Virginia

Come on West Virginia

Jay Rockefeller is retiring, don’t make another Manchin mistake in 2014, via The Hill:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) announced Friday that he will not run for reelection in 2014, giving Republicans a prime pickup opportunity in a state that’s grown increasingly red in recent years.

“As I approach 50 years of public service in West Virginia, I’ve decided that 2014 will be the right moment for me to find new ways to fight for the causes I believe in and to spend more time with my incredible family,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

Republicans already have their top recruit in place for the race. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) threw her hat in the ring late last year, and is considered the front-runner for the seat, should she survive what could be a tough GOP primary….

Despite the increasingly red tint of West Virginia, the state hasn’t elected a Republican senator since 1956. Rockefeller’s decision to retire now, at the very start of the election cycle, gives Democrats plenty of time to mount a defense.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who is tasked with recruiting Senate candidates as chairman of the chamber’s campaign committee, acknowledged the challenge that Democrats face in West Virginia. He said the party would look for an “independent-minded Democrat” to run for the seat….

“Democrats maintain nearly a two to one voter registration advantage over Republicans in West Virginia and I know there are a number of leaders there who will consider taking this next step to serve their state,” Bennet said.

I don’t know anything about Capito, or any of her challengers, but this is interesting:

On day one of her candidacy, Capito received criticism from two conservative groups known for mounting primary challenges against establishment-backed Republicans: the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

Chris Chocola, president of the Club, slammed her as an “establishment candidate,” and Senate Conservatives Fund executive director Matt Hoskins said the group wouldn’t endorse her.

In the 2010 special election, Republicans nominated the establishment candidate John Raese, who promptly lost and then lost again in the 2012 regular election.  So we’re going to go with establishment candidate again?

So who else is in the Republican field?

Maybe we can recruit candidate no. 11593-051.


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The Drill SGT | January 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Shelley has very good name recognition. She wins in a state with 70% Dem registration. Take what you can get. she will be more conservative and a team player than the Maine twins ever were…

Wiki says: “Since being in Congress, Capito has voted with her party 93% of the time. She had a lifetime rating of 70 from the American Conservative Union. Unitil 2010, she was the only GOP Congressperson from WV. She is pro-choice”

    Mary Sue in reply to The Drill SGT. | January 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Her favorables were an eye-popping +25 which may explain why liberals on my Twitter timeline appear to be hoping she gets challenged in the primary. I am fine with a Marco Rubio, Rand Paul or a Pat Toomey challenging her in the primary. A Todd Aikin challenger – not so much.

    If Club for Growth has a Marco Rubio hiding somewhere in WV they should get behind them ASAP. My guess, there isn’t one but that won’t stop the left from meddling in our primaries until they get who they want.

      chilipalmer in reply to Mary Sue. | January 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Why not bring in Tommy Thompson who lost the important state of Wisconsin because the national GOP’s first priority was defeating conservatives, several of whom were rising in the state. The fact that Thompson didn’t win is secondary. I’ve noticed establishment talking points now include constantly bringing up Todd Akin, suggesting “the democrats” controlled the primary which is of course false, and that it doesn’t matter what kind of Republican gets in as long as it’s a Republican. It happens that many people ran in the Missouri primary. Several had good chances of winning and the results were splintered. Akin happened to edge it out. Akin wasn’t some rube off the corn field or a democrat plant, he was a sitting congressman.

        Mary Sue in reply to chilipalmer. | January 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        I will never understand why the right seems more determined to fight each other than fighting Democrats. It’s absolutely a fact Harry Reid meddled in Republicans choosing a candidate. Claire McCaskill was walking zombie toast until she got the candidate she wanted to run against. She ran ads attacking Akin she knew would be music to “true conservative” ears. If you think they are not playing on the split between grassroots conservatives and the establishment you are kidding yourself.

        I am not saying we have run Tommy Thompsons – in fact I think it is stupid to run retreads like him when you can elect someone like a Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and other great candidates organizations like Club for Growth have supported. I worked to elect Pat Toomey in PA. He is far and away the most impressive pol I have ever had the pleasure to meet in person. He is personable and charming and treats you like making a few calls for him was the valuable contribution in the history of politics. I would also add he was a candidate who knew how to perform on the national stage. He didn’t blow up in the first radio interview he gave on an issue as important as right to life.

        My question was not whether we should just pick the “electable” candidate but who is more conservative and a credible candidate. Why does it have to be one or the other, we need both to win. Rand Paul ran well in areas surrounding West Virginia while the pro-life Dem from PA Bob Casey ran poorly on the West Virginia border. A more conservative candidate would likely do better but you can’t ignore the fact Capito was a strong enough candidate to force Rockefeller from the race. Capito might be vulnerable to a Dem who is strong on cultural issues including abortion, guns and coal. I am sure Rockefeller dropped so Dems could run such a person.

        Raese was arguably more conservative than Capito but he wasn’t as personally popular among West Virginians as both Capito and Manchin have shown in polling. I think it matters to voters if they like the person we want them to vote for – call me crazy. I am absolutely sure if we could find a Rand Paul or someone like him to run he/she would leave Capito in the dust. As we’ve seen with both Todd Akin and Tommy Thompson it’s not electability or ideology – it’s both.

I grew up in West (by God) but haven’t been a voting citizen since the 80s. I had never even met a Republican when I joined the Army in 1975. When I was able to figure out what my pay statement meant and how much was being taken out I wanted to know more about this “other party.”

I had a lot of hope for them, and us after 8 years of Reagan and then the 94 elections. But like Charlie Brown I have had the football pulled back too often.

I can’t name who might win the seat, but don’t put it past my fellow Mountaineers to elect another Dem, no matter how much it will hurt the state. We had low information voters long before it was trendy.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

What about the prisoner ?

delicountessa | January 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I think Capito stands a good chance. She has name recognition and, whether you agree with her or not, she does take the time to talk to her constituents. Most who have had an opportunity to meet with her, like her.
The big issue is will Raese run and will the Democrats in the state vote for him again to knock Capito out in the primary? It isn’t that Raese is a bad person but he has been maligned and destroyed so often that the DNC doesn’t even have to put out new ads against him. They’ll just keep running the ones they’ve had around for a couple of decades. After all, they worked last time.

She sounds like she has a good chance of winning the senate seat. Wonder if the repubs will nominate another Todd Akin in WV during the primaries, I sure hope not.

She has name recognition, and that is very important. Plus that would be another conservative lady in the Senate, which I love.

But I’m not holding much hope, repubs seem to have a way to losing seats they really shouldn’t be, aka Todd Akin, Murdock. I suspect the same will happen here.

    alex in reply to alex. | January 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    she’s pro-choice which means she will be primaried by another todd akin type, who will then go on to lose in the general.

    I’m sure dems are just looking at how Miss Claire did in MO last round and use the same playbook, and repubs being the idiots that they are, not knowing how liberals think, will fall for it, and put in another todd akin thru the primaries.

    I don’t see this seat flipping.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to alex. | January 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Now send a nice little 36 year old mandolin playing widow of means over to the jail & help organize the guy that garnered 42% against Obama in the WV primary.

      Imagine what the hint of lurve & a liine of credit would do . Not only would he split the Dems but he might win the whole thing.

      As a crim who threatened a credit union or sumthin , he would be very experienced already.

      All West Virginians want is pork.

Although Raese was once chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party sometime in the distant past, I’m not sure one can aptly apply the term “establishment” who never won any of his five candidacies for the governor’s mansion or the Senate.

Shelley Moore Capito, on the other hand, was the lone member of the GOP in West Virginia’s Congressional delegation until 2010. Her father was only one of two Republicans to win the governorship in the last 80 years. Although news coverage of the race has characterized WV as “deep red” with a weak Democratic bench, that is rather facile and reductive. Presidential elections have certainly trended right, but, much like Arkansas throughout the 1990s, the state has resisted embracing thorough legislative conservatism. Capito is contextually the best hope for a GOP pickup.

Yeah, let the Purity Police screw up yet another Senate seat for the GOP.

AFAIAC, if Chris Chocola’s group “won’t endorse” her, she must be all right. He’s a proven loser.

Why we continue to throw away seats in the name of “true conservative” wackadoodles like Miller in Alaska, O’Donnell in Delaware, Angle in Nevada, Buck and Maes in Colorado, and Akin in Missouri remains a mystery. The possible futile primary challenge in Maine led Snowe to retire; now we have Angus McTurvish McTavish Dundee or whatever his fool name is, another “independent” who votes with Democrats.

Some people hate “establishment Republicans” so much that they’ve ensured us Harry Reid running the Senate.

Brilliant, just brilliant.