Trump Urges West Virginians Not to Vote for Don Blankenship

Randy Kelley
May 8, 2018

President Donald Trump implored Republicans in West Virginia not to vote for Donald Blankenship in that state's Republican primary on Tuesday, saying the candidate - a coal executive who served prison time for a safety violation that killed 29 miners - can't win the general election.

Even President Trump thinks Blankenship is a loser. The Republican candidates are looking to unseat Sen.

So I'm gonna go out on a limb here and ask the people of West Virginia to make a wise decision and reject Blankenship!

The GOP is holding on to a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate and Democrats are defending ten states that voted for Trump in 2016, and both parties are keenly aware that avoiding unforced missteps and nominating quality candidates is the difference between a Senate majority or minority.

The Republican president maintains a strong approval rating in West Virginia at 61 points, according to March polling from Morning Consult.

He has also made freaky attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a major part of his campaign platform, standing by his use of the racial slur "Chinaperson" to describe McConnell's father-in-law, and arguing in a campaign ad that McConnell "has created millions of jobs for China people".

Republican strategists feel that Mr. Manchin supplies them of the best chances to reclaim a Democratic seat, but this the conservative Democrat and former governor will easily acquire re election if Mr. Blankenship could be the nominee.

Blankenship will reveal his finances after the West Virginia primary on Tuesday.

Trump encouraged West Virginia voters to support either Congressman Evan Jenkins or state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey over Blankenship. Moore lost a deep red seat to Democrat Doug Jones, thinning Republican's majority in the U.S. Senate to the current 51-49 margin.

If we do that, West Virginia will have a senator who will work closely with President Trump.

"The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the US Senate and promote the President's agenda", Blankenship said.

Many on the right are concerned if Blankenship wins the primary, he'll nearly certainly lose the general election to Democratic Sen.

Blankenship argued that neither Jenkins or Morrisey could beat Manchin without his support, but he would prevail over the Democratic stalwart "even without the support of the establishment".

Indiana, North Carolina and OH also are holding primaries on Tuesday. Trump won the district by nearly 50 points in 2016, but the districts ancestrally blue roots and historic support for Manchin may create a competitive race in November. And the coal baron's flagrant xenophobia - and habit of decrying Mitch McConnell as a cocaine dealer - means that the national Republican Party would likely do relatively little to boost Blankenship's candidacy.

In a television ad, Blankenship also stepped up his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accusing him of creating "millions of jobs for China people".

Blankenship's push for one of West Virginia's Senate seats has hit a number of hurdles, with the most recent being Trump's move to dissociate from the ex-con.

"We're excited that President Trump gave us a shout out this morning", Jenkins told FOX. "We need to win in November".

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