So far, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) has had the candidate field to herself as she moves into position to secure re-election to a second term later this year. After originally declaring in the presidential race, only to become the first to exit, former state Senator and ex-WV-3 District congressional candidate Richard Ojeda (D) announced that he will enter this year’s Senate race. The outlook is still extremely favorable for Sen. Capito, but it is now clear that she will have opposition.
A newly released WPA Intelligence poll for the Woody Thrasher campaign (12/16-18; 502 WV likely Republican primary voters) casts a much different light upon the West Virginia gubernatorial primary campaign.
Just before the holiday break, the Research America group released a survey (12/4-9; 500 WV likely Republican primary voters) that found Gov. Jim Justice leading former state Commerce Secretary Thrasher and ex-state Delegate Mike Folk, 56-21-11%. The new WPAi data finds a considerably different result, seeing Gov. Justice maintaining only a 38-30-6% edge over Thrasher and Folk.
Gov. Justice was first elected in 2016, but as a Democrat. He switched parties a year later, so this is his first election in a Republican nomination battle. The West Virginia primary is May 12th meaning we will likely see competing polling for quite some time.
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
A Research America survey for the local Metro News (12/4-9; 500 WV likely Republican primary voters) finds Gov. Jim Justice holding a strong lead over his GOP nomination challengers. The totals find Mr. Justice capturing 56% preference with former state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher well behind with 21% even after running several waves of television advertising. Former state Delegate Mike Folk touches double digits with 11% support.
Gov. Justice was elected as a Democrat in 2016 but switched parties less than a year later. Therefore, this is his first venture as a candidate in a Republican primary.
Now that Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has said he will not enter the 2020 Governor’s race, incumbent Jim Justice (R) is drawing new Democratic opponents. The latest, and perhaps most significant, is state Sen. Ron Stollings (D-Madison) who carried a district that President Trump won with a 59 percentage point margin. At this point, Sen. Stollings is the only Democrat in the field of four candidates with electoral experience. Gov. Justice has two Republican primary opponents, former state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and ex-state Delegate Mike Folk.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D) had been traveling his state during the congressional recess testing the waters as to whether he should challenge Gov. Jim Justice (R). Though he was leading in a published poll, Sen. Manchin announced that he will not run for Governor, choosing instead to continue his career in federal office. Mr. Manchin was just re-elected in November, so he does not again come before the voters until 2024. In the last gubernatorial campaign, the Senator made a similar maneuver, indicating he might run but then choosing to remain. Mr. Manchin was Governor from January of 2005 to November of 2010 when he resigned to enter the Senate.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D) promises to announce shortly whether he will challenge Gov. Jim Justice (R) next year, but a new survey suggests he would begin the race with an advantage if he decides to run.
A MetroNews Dominion Post West Virginia Poll (Research America; 8/14-22; 501 WV registered voters) finds Sen. Manchin leading Gov. Jim Justice (R), 49-39%. In the Republican primary, Gov. Justice holds a 53-19-12% advantage over former state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and ex-state Delegate Mike Folk.
First-term Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) now sees her first Democratic opponent come forward. Yesterday, Paula Jean Swearengin, who bills herself as a “Coal Country environmentalist” announced that she will enter the Democratic Senatorial primary. Ms. Swearengin ran before, last year in a primary challenge to Sen. Joe Manchin (D). She fared poorly, attracting only 30% of the vote, raising slightly more than $200,000. Sen. Capito should have an easy re-election run if Democrats don’t field a stronger candidate.
Little so far has been said about first-term Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R) re-election bid. At this point, nary a Republican nor Democrat has indicated an interest in running. Therefore, it was of little surprise when Sen. Capito announced yesterday that she will run for re-election. With most of the political attention on the Governor’s race, and with President Trump on the ballot in his second strongest state, Sen. Capito looks to be a lock to secure a second term.
When Gov. Jim Justice (R) appointed businessman Woody Thrasher to be his Commerce Department Secretary, he didn’t figure that a member of his Cabinet would return to oppose him in the 2020 election. But, this is about to happen. Next week, Mr. Thrasher is expected to announce his Republican primary gubernatorial challenge to Gov. Justice.
In 2016, Mr. Justice was elected as a Democrat, but then changed parties less than a year into his Governorship. Therefore, as he seeks re-election, this will be the first time he appears before an exclusively non-Democratic electorate. Mr. Thrasher’s entry in the race will make this primary, a contest that also features former state Delegate Mike Folk (R), a campaign to watch. The Governor’s race is expected to dominate West Virginia politics in next year’s election.
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