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Tuesday Primaries Ended With Strong GOP Candidates for November

Tuesday Primaries Ended With Strong GOP Candidates for November

Can the GOP pick up a few seats in November?

It looks like the GOP escaped another potential Roy Moore fiasco in West Virginia after the convict and former coal CEO Don Blankeship lost the GOP Senate primary.

With Blankenship’s loss and wins in other states, the GOP may be poised to gain a few seats in the Senate.

West Virginia

West Virginia was the race to watch because President Donald Trump won the state with 67.9% of the votes. Their governorship recently flipped from Democrat to Republican.

Manchin is a conservative-leaning Democrat, which has worked well for him in the past, but it seems that the state is trending more Republican. Thus, his seat is vulnerable.

I’m sure Manchin probably hoped Blankenship would win, which would have placed the GOP in another tough spot after the Moore fiasco in Alabama, but Blankenship sunk his own ship when he threw out racial attacks at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation.

Blankenship is another reason why we cannot trust the MSM. Outlets spent so much time splashing him all over the place, suggesting (and probably hoping) he stood a real chance of winning. But reporter Salena Zito, who has spent so much time getting to know Trump voters and us regular people, made this note on Twitter:

(If you’re not following Salena on Twitter or reading her articles, you must. She’s the only journalist who gives a damn about Trump voters and flyover country in general.)

Instead, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey came out on top. Morrisey stepped into limelight back in 2015 when he sued President Barack Obama’s administration over a climate change plan.

The GOP will likely funnel money into Morrisey’s campaign as they could potentially flip Manchin’s seat.

Speaking of Manchin, he may have more on his plate than just Morrisey. The New York Times reported that he should be worried over “the number of Democratic voters who supported his primary opponent, who ran a nominal campaign.” The stats show that Manchin “lost about 30 percent of the vote and did even worse in some of the state’s coal counties, which are full of ancestral Democrats he will need to hold onto in November.”

However, despite his conservative leanings, the Democrats have made it known that they will support Manchin. When he decided to run for re-election in January, “he repeatedly expressed his frustration” to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and other colleagues about the dysfunction within the chamber and their intolerance of moderate lawmakers. He told them that “[I]f people like me can’t win from red states, you’ll be in the minority the rest of your life.”

It appears that some agreed, including Schumer, who “has made no apologies for his efforts to protect Democrats from conservative states.” After Trump won, rumors circulated that he eyed Manchin for cabinet posts, which led Schumer to offer the senator “plum committee assignments.”

The Democrats viewed primary candidate Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) as the toughest challenger to Manchin, which led a Democratic super PAC to spend a lot of money of attack ads against him. Apparently, the party sees Morrisey as an easier challenger due to his past health-care lobbying “in a state that has suffered greatly from the opioid epidemic.”


Indiana is another hot spot since Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents. Trump’s approval rating in Indiana stands at 53% and he won the state with 56.5% of the votes.

Donnelly will challenge Mike Braun, a former state lawmaker, in November. Braun owns a national auto parts distribution company and portrayed himself as an “outsider” compared to his GOP opponents, Rep. Luke Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita. He showed up to debates without a suit coat or tie and labeled Messer and Rokita as the “Swamp Brothers.” He reminded voters that he “built his own business while Messer and Rokita were climbing political ladders.”

Can Braun beat Donnelly? WLWT spoke with Tom Mote, 66, who voted for Braun but didn’t seem convinced he could defeat Donnelly. Mote noted that the incumbent has “been very low-key and not very controversial.” He admitted Indiana is “a Republican state, but it’s hard to beat an incumbent.”

Messer and Rokita are out of jobs now since they gave up their safe-Republican seats to run for the Senate. Vice President Mike Pence’s brother Greg won the primary for Messer’s seat, which was held by Mike for a dozen years.


Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is a semi-vulnerable incumbent. He will take on rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) in November.

The Cook Political Report has Ohio as ‘Lean Democrat.’ Back in March, I blogged about an Axios poll that showed Brown winning a head-to-head race against Renacci, 50% to 45%. I wrote that Brown shouldn’t think or act like he has the election in the bag since Trump has a 54% approval rating in the state. Trump also won the state by 8 points in 2016.

Renacci first entered the governor’s race but jumped into the Senate primary after State Treasurer Josh Mandel decided not to run due to his wife’s health. Renacci discussed the switch “with the White House and Senate Republican officials” and said he wanted Trump’s backing, which he received.

Renacci became the front-runner with Trump’s backing and his personal wealth, which allowed him to pour his own money into the campaign for ads.

Mandel challenged Brown six years ago, which was a difficult one for the incumbent. He defeated Mandel 50.7% to 44.7%.

North Carolina

We must not forget the House, which the Democrats really want back. We know Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is salivating to get back to the Speaker position.

Incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) lost the primary to Southern Baptist Rev. Mark Harris, 48.5% to 46.2%.

The Cook Political Report has North Carolina’s 9th District as Likely Republican. I doubt it will fall Democrat as Harris appears more conservative than Pittenger. The Conservative Review gave the incumbent an F and rated him as one of the most liberal Republicans in North Carolina.

The loss still shocked the GOP. From Politico:

Pittenger’s loss surprised national and local Republicans alike, but early reactions to the three-term congressman’s loss pointed to an “anti-establishment GOP vote that came out big tonight,” said Brad Crone, a campaign consultant who’s worked with Democrats and Republicans in the state. “This clearly shows that the November election is going to be a barn burner, because there’s going to be big rifts in the Republican Party that are going to need time and attention to heal for the GOP to unify.”


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I think the GOP got the slate they needed. No more fringe candidates, please.

I’m getting pretty sick of the “avoid Judge Moore” trope. Moore was sunk by unsubstantiated, decades old allegations which idiots like McConnell immediately accepted at face value. Moore wasn’t tight with the DC herd of RINOs, so they sabotaged him. That is not a failure to pick good candidates. Rather it underscores why we need actual conservatives in the US Senate.

    inspectorudy in reply to Same Same. | May 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Not to rehash this old trope but all Moore had to do was meet the then 14 year old girl at a TV station for any questions asked forum. He never offered any such way for us to make an evaluation of who was telling the truth. I would have demanded that the woman appear before the public and let anyone ask both of us any questions. For some unknown reason Moore never demanded this public meeting. In fact he never demanded anything except that he was innocent. Of all his accusers, there were only two that mattered. One was the yearbook girl whose testimony was pretty much destroyed and the 14 year old. But for some reason Moore never went after her. Why?

      RobM in reply to inspectorudy. | May 9, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Moore was sandbagged at the last minute. We won’t hear about it, but I betcha the group that was instalanched to take down Moore will be found guilty of campaign finance law violations and will be quietly fined. Their job done. No recourse. To me, there is nothing Judge Moore could have said or done.

      That stunt, like the Stormy stunt now, is a blatant move to appeal to women and trigger them. It worked with Moore. It isn’t really working with the President, thought, it’s the thousand cuts idea that drags most people down. The NBC bus tape was same… and it drove a bunch of women from supporting the President. It’s blatant and sexist and it works.

    tom_swift in reply to Same Same. | May 9, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Moore was sunk by unsubstantiated, decades old allegations

    Was he? Some voters (like, say, me—were I in Alabama) consider silliness like the “Ten Commandments” excitement to be far more relevant and important. Of course from the way the press carried on, it was all about the girls. Maybe it was … or maybe that’s just the press being lying scumbuckets, as usual.

    Matt_SE in reply to Same Same. | May 10, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    McConnell knew the allegations were false. He only pretended to believe them publicly because it suited his agenda. He’s not an idiot, he’s corrupt.

buckeyeminuteman | May 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm

I met Rep. Renacci two years ago. He came to my employer for a Q&A and I got to spend some time talking with him afterwards. Very sensible down to earth guy. When I asked him about the national debt being ~$17T at the time, he made the not-often-heard remark that that amount is only discretionary spending. When adding in entitlement spending, the number is exponentially higher. Before being my Congressman he was the Mayor of Wadsworth and before that owned car dealerships. Somebody with some real-world experience is a welcome change.

    Milhouse in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | May 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    When I asked him about the national debt being ~$17T at the time, he made the not-often-heard remark that that amount is only discretionary spending. When adding in entitlement spending, the number is exponentially higher.

    Huh? That makes no sense. Debt is not spending of any kind, it’s money already borrowed and spent. None of it is “discretionary” or “entitlement”; some of it is the result of discretionary spending, most of it is the result of entitlement spending, but all of it is money owed. And yes, it definitely does include the money spent on entitlements.

      I think what he was referring to was unfunded mandates. The figure I see a lot for money we have committed to spend, but have no way of paying, is about $120 trillion. Obviously, something will give before then, but that would require pruning entitlements.

      I guess you could count it as debt the same way that your mortgage would show up as debt on a balance sheet. You have agreed to pay it — doesn’t mean you can or will.

        Milhouse in reply to Thatch. | May 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm

        Except that unlike a mortgage we don’t have to pay these things. There are no mandates on the federal government, funded or otherwise. “Entitlements” affect the budget deficit; they do not affect the debt, because the money is not owed to anyone. We can stop paying entitlements whenever we like; we just have to make a decision to do so.

        The difference between entitlement spending and discretionary spending is only relevant when discussing a given year’s budget; entitlements are things we’ve decided in advance to spend every year no matter what, so changing them requires a positive decision to reverse that. Discretionary spending is what we haven’t committed to in advance, so spending it requires a positive decision. Entitlements are not like the mortgage which we have to pay, they’re like the bills that we’ve set on autopay, that will keep taking the money from our accounts every month until we tell them to stop.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 10, 2018 at 3:38 am

          Correction: they’re not like bills that have to be paid one way or another, they’re like charitable donations that we’ve set up to get automatically deducted from our bank account every month, but we can stop them whenever we like.

The budget showdown in September will be a big deal, so close to the election. By then, there should be a large handful of successes for Trump to point to AND I think the President will gleefully campaign for candidates that outwardly show his agenda support. It should be a fun night for a party in November..

Mike Braun, another Hard Democrat in December 2017 now winning the Republican Primary. Way to go McConnell.

    murkyv in reply to MSO. | May 9, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Not true.

    Check his voting record in the Indiana legislature, where he has been a solid Republican.

    He lives in what used to be a Democrat stronghold where republicans often never bothered to even field a candidate for local races.

    Like my county is the opposite. Only 2 democrats even bothered to run and they were unopposed in the primary. And they will both be trounced in Nov.

    If one wants any say at all in local government, you go with the hand you’re dealt.

but early reactions to the three-term congressman’s loss pointed to an “anti-establishment GOP vote that came out big tonight,” said Brad Crone,”

IOW, GOP-e lost, and Trump supporters won.

    Barry in reply to Tom Servo. | May 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    “…and Trump supporters won.”

    They will continue to do so all the way through November.

    They will do this in spite of the nevertrumpers and progs (I repeat myself).

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 9, 2018 at 7:51 pm

What happened to the MSM/media’s, pollsters’ and Democrat Party’s Blue Rinse Wave???????

For the record, turnout in my county in NC was only around 10%. I eagerly voted for Mark Meadows, who won by a landslide.

Poll out today on the FL Sen race has the incumbent D down 4.

I’m disappointed by the tone of this article, as if it were all a horse race and the quality/philosophies of the candidate didn’t matter.

If we elect a gaggle of RINOs, we will not end up happy about it. Cleaning out the GOP leadership is the only issue that matters this year.