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Monday, April 30, 2018

Democrat fears Blankenship will beat Manchin

Trial lawyer Christopher Regan argued in the Wheeling newspaper that Democrats should not work to get Don Blankenship the Republican nomination. This ignores conventional wisdom that Democratic Senator Joe Manchin will have an easier time running against the coal baron who served time for a misdemeanor following the deaths of 29 miners.

Regan is a former Vice Chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party, which gives him a nearly unique insight into the party's failure to maintain a majority despite a huge lead in voter registration.

(We all know that Democratic lead is a Potemkin Village as one-third of the state is Republican, one-third Democrat, and one-third ticket-splitters.)

His fear is Blankenship will beat Manchin in the fall, which makes him the other guy in the state who thinks that. The other being Blankenship who is willing to spend $12 million on his campaign.

Oh, there are many others. I see the path. I also see it blocked by 29 ghosts.

"But the hard truth is that West Virginia remains a plus-40 state for Donald Trump. Trump will campaign extremely hard for every Senate seat he thinks he can win this fall, as his political life will be at stake. A Republican has an excellent chance to win the race no matter which one wins the primary. If it is Blankenship, he will have unlimited money to spend and the team of consultants that won the state for Republicans in 2014," Regan wrote.

Kudos to Team Blankenship for that begrudging praise.

"Blankenship has done more to hand the Republicans control of West Virginia than any other single person. People thought he was wasting his money (and his company’s) when West Virginia went heavily blue in 2006 and 2008, but the loser then was later to win. His massive spending on Republican candidates over more than a decade finally bore fruit in 2014 when Republicans took over the Legislature, and again in 2016, when they won practically everything," Regan said.

Blankenship's team is very loyal and they have taken their lumps over the years, and learned. They are young, determined, and devoted to their state. They are patient. They have been at this 14 years, beginning with dumping Warren McGraw.

Regan knows his national party is toxic.

"In 2016, Doug Reynolds ran an excellent campaign for attorney general and found himself in a dead heat with Patrick Morrisey a few weeks out from election day. Morrisey’s campaign then ran an ad linking Reynolds to Hillary as many times as there were commercial slots to buy, right up until election day. The connection was tenuous, relying on an alleged 2007 campaign contribution, and there was certainly no video, but the ad worked, and Morrisey won by 10 points. Manchin has a much bigger Hillary problem than Reynolds ever did," Regan wrote.

Now it could be that Regan is blowing smoke. Always bear in mind the story of Br'er Rabbit and the Brier Patch.

But Regan wrote, "The Republicans didn’t take over the state by intervening in Democratic primaries and making us choose unpalatable candidates. Republicans won West Virginia by convincing the voters that Republican policies would be good for them."

Regan didn't become a successful trial lawyer by not learning from his mistakes and losses.

I'm still going with one of the two safe picks, but for the first time in years, I am eschewing early voting. If I start seeing him as Donald Blankenship instead of Don Blankenship, I may roll the dice.


  1. Absentee ballots are somewhat necessary (e.g., military), but just say no to early voting. Too many things can happen. And going to my polling place on Election Day is always interesting and informative. Sometimes, like the last General Election, it is even exciting. - Elric

    1. p.s. I am starting to think that any of the three Republicans can beat Lyin' Joe, GOPe shenanigans notwithstanding. - Elric

  2. I saw Don Blankenship interview with Martha McCallum on fox this weekend. I don't know. He comes off as sleazy. I hope I'm wrong

    1. No - you are correct. He is sleazy. Just like Patrick Morrisey.