Tags: 2018 Midterm Elections | blankenship | morrisey | manchin | rokita

GOP Rallies After Senate Primaries

GOP Rallies After Senate Primaries
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (AP)

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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 08:36 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The outcomes Tuesday night of bitterly-contested Republican Senate primaries in Indiana and West Virginia have raised GOP hopes of taking out two key Democratic senators in November: Joe Donnelly in Indiana and Joe Manchin in West Virginia.

In Indiana, millionaire businessman and former State Rep. Steve Braun deployed roughly $5.4 million of his own money to roll up 40 percent of the vote and defeat two GOP House members.

Although no polls have been done on Braun competing in the general elections, he is now considered better-than-even money to take out Donnelly.

“I don’t know if Republicans identified Braun as another Trump or not, but it was clear they wanted something different and he was it,” Ed Feigenbaum, editor of the Indiana Legislative Insight newsletter, told Newsmax.

In Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, Braun faced two fellow conservatives who had been political rivals since they were undergraduates at Wabash College and, as one wag put it, “agreed on just about every issue except who should be senator.”

Rokita slammed his opponent as “missing Messer” for allegedly not owning a home in Indiana, while Messer branded Rokita “lyin’ Todd” for misstating his record.

As Feigenbaum observed, “Braun let Messer and Rokita beat each other up, and he outspent them by a huge amount with clever advertising that portrayed Messer and Rokita as one and the same, fungible commodities. Rokita went for the base, but that was limited. Messer went for the establishment, but that wasn't much of a lane, either.

“The undecideds were huge, and they were at 30 percent through the weekend. Braun won just about all of them because Rokita and Messer had their people and couldn't appeal beyond them.”

In West Virginia, there was a collective sigh of relief as State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey emerged triumphant and thus kept the Republican Senate nomination from controversial coalmine owner Don Blankenship.

Blankenship served 13 months in prison on one charge related to the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster (in which 29 miners were killed in a mine owned by his Massey Energy Company). In addition, he ran bizarre ads dubbing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “cocaine Mitch” because his father-in-law came from China and owned a shipping company.

President Trump spoke for many in his party when he tweeted days before the election that “Don Blankenship can’t win.”

Conservatives rallied to Morrisey, who had won high marks on the right for successfully suing the Obama administration to stop its “Clean Power Plan” to regulate greenhouse gases. National conservative organizations such as the Senate Conservatives Fund and Tea Party Patriots weighed in strongly for the state’s top lawman, as did Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

In a state that President Trump swept with 68 percent of the vote, and where nearly every statewide officeholder is a Republican, Morrisey is now considered one of the top national prospects to take out a sitting Democratic senator.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.


 


 

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John-Gizzi
The outcomes Tuesday night of bitterly-contested Republican Senate primaries in Indiana and West Virginia have raised GOP hopes of taking out two key Democratic senators in November: Joe Donnelly in Indiana and Joe Manchin in West Virginia.
blankenship, morrisey, manchin, rokita
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2018-36-09
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 08:36 AM
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