WEST VIRGINIA
     Nov. 6, 2018 Senate

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+Joe Manchin (D) i
290,510
49.57%
Patrick Morissey (R)
271,113
46.26%
Rusty Hollen (L)
24,411
4.17%

586,034

Early voting (Oct. 24-Nov. 3): 183,205.
Plurality: 19,397 votes (3.31 percentage points).
 WV Secretary of State




Notes: 
Sen. Joe Manchin (D) was seen as highly vulnerable.  In 2016, the Trump-Pence ticket carried all 55 counties, amassing a margin of 300,577 votes (42.15 percentage points).

Manchin was first elected to the Senate in the Nov. 2, 2010 special election to fill the seat held by appointed Sen. Carte Goodwin (D) following the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd; he was then elected to a full term in 2012.  He has an extensive record in West Virginia politics: WV House of Delegates (1982-86); WV State Senate (1986-96); unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1996; WV Secretary of State (2000-04); and governor (elected in 2004 and 2008).  On May 8 Manchin easily fended off a primary challenge from environmental activist Paula Jean Swearengin. 

The Republican primary was closely fought; Attorney General Patrick Morrisey emerged the victor, garnering 34.9% to 29.2% for U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and 19.9% for Don Blankenship, the former chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Company.

Morrisey was elected Attorney General in 2012 and re-elected in 2016; he has also worked as a lobbyist, and he ran for Congress in New Jersey in 2000.


Following the Republican primary Blankenship sought to run in the general election as the nominee of the Constitution Party.  The Secretary of State ruled he should not appear on the ballot due to the state's "sore loser" law, and the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld that decision in an Aug. 29 ruling. 

Libertarian Rusty Hollen was the third candidate on the November ballot.


In September as the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court came to the fore, Manchin was heavily pressured from both sides; ultimately, on Oct. 6, he voted to confirm Kavanaugh, the only Democrat to do so.

The two major party candidates participated in just one debate, organized by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association, on Nov. 1 in Morgantown (+).  Morrisey invoked the unpopular Hillary Clinton multiple times, seemingly in almost every answer, portrayed Manchin as a dishonest liberal, and repeatedly emphasized his support for President Trump. 

Trump held three rallies with Morrisey, on Aug. 21 (Charleston), Sep. 29 (Wheeling), and Nov. 2 (Huntington) (+).


According to Open Secrets, the two campaigns spent a total of $14.4 million (+); the Manchin campaign raised $9.4 million and spent $8.8 million from 2013-18; the Morrisey campaign raised $5.6 million and spent $5.6 million.  Outside groups added another $33.4 million, although this may include some spent in the primary against Morrisey (+).  Most of the outside spending came from eight groups which spent more than $1 million each:
D
Senate Majority PAC
$12.3m

Majority Forward
$2.5m

DSCC (PAC)
$2.2m

Duty & Country PAC
$2.2m



R
Senate Leadership Fund
$7.6m

NRSC (PAC)
$2.6m

35th Inc.
$1.9m

Mountain Families PAC
$1.3m


Campaign Managers
:
Joe Manchin: 
Pat Devney
(announced Oct. 2017)  Campaign manager on Colin Van Ostern's run for governor of New Hampshire in 2016.  Campaign manager on Chris Bell's run for Mayor of Houston in 2015. Campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster's re-election in 2014.  Special projects director for U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI), 2012-13.  Campaign manager on Nathan Granger for State Senate (LA), Feb. 2011.  Worked in Louisiana in late 2009-mid-2010 and in Virginia in the 2009 cycle.  "...a veteran of multiple senate races and brings significant experience managing successful campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels."
also...
Larry Puccio, senior advisor.

Patrick Morrisey:  Ryan M. Reynolds
(Sept. 2017)  Senior vice president at WPA Intelligence, Aug. 2015-June 2017.  Senior advisor on Morrisey for West Virginia, Mar.-Nov. 2015.  Campaign manager on Yoder for Congress (KS), Aug.-Nov. 2014.  Campaign manager on Bob Johnson for Congress (GA), Jan.-July 2014.  Field director on Sanford for Congress, Mar.-May 2013.  Deputy voter registration director/deployments director for Colorado Republicans, Aug. -Nov. 2012.  Political director on Wright McLeod for Congress, Nov. 2011-Aug. 2012.  B.S. in economics from Georgia College and State University, 2011.

 
  





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