West Virginia Primaries: Morrisey to take on Manchin for Senate

May 9, 2018 · 12:16 AM EDT

Senate. Joe Manchin (D) elected 2010 special (53%), 2012 (61%). Former coal company CEO Don Blankenship, who served a year in prison, enjoyed a few days in the national spotlight as a serious contender for the GOP nomination. But state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey prevailed with 35 percent over Rep. Evan Jenkins (30 percent) and Blankenship (20 percent). Morrisey is a statewide elected official, but he’s also from New Jersey (he ran for Congress there in 2000) and has residual negatives from a tough and expensive re-election race in 2016 that he won 52-42 percent, underperforming Trump by 17 points. Blankenship has said he would explore a write-in run, which could complicate Morrisey’s effort, and Manchin has considerable skills as a candidate. But this is still a state that Trump won by more than 40 points. Rating: Toss-up.

2nd District (Alex Mooney, R, re-elected 58%). Trump 66%. Democrats believe there’s a scenario to win because the incumbent is from Maryland. But it doesn’t look like State Department official Talley Sergent (62 percent in the Democratic primary) has the juice to get it done. She had $117,000 in her campaign account on April 18 compared to Mooney’s $1.3 million. Rating: Solid R.

3rd District (Open; Evan Jenkins, R, ran for Senate). Trump 73%. State House Majority Whip Carol Miller (23 percent in the primary) won the Republican nomination, and will face Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda (52 percent) in the general election. Ojeda’s has received some national attention for his group of devoted followers, but he’s yet to translate that into significant campaign cash. He had $78,000 in the bank on April 18 compared to Miller’s $135,000. Ojeda will probably need to ride Manchin’s coattails here in southern West Virginia. Rating: Solid R.