5/9/2018 10:22:00 AM National primary election roundup: GOP exhales after W. Virginia race
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Key takeaways after voters in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia — all states won in 2016 by Donald Trump — picked nominees for Senate, House and some state offices ahead of the November general elections:
REPUBLICANS TAKE A DEEP BREATH IN APPALACHIA
National Republicans were terrified that West Virginia Republicans might nominate a convicted ex-coal executive for the Senate and give up an opportunity to unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
But voters relegated Don Blankenship to third place and opted instead for state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Blankenship was defiant until the end after a campaign in which he lambasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a “swamp captain” and “Cocaine Mitch.”
The multimillionaire wouldn’t say whether he’d back Morrisey or Manchin in November, suggesting he still could give party leaders heartburn in the general election.
TRUMP WINS ONE, MUST DECIDE HOW TO TREAT FRIENDLY DEMOCRAT
Republicans followed Trump’s advice, delivered via tweet Monday, and rejected Blankenship.
Now, Trump has to decide how aggressively he’ll back Morrisey over Manchin. The incumbent is the closest thing Trump has to a friend among Senate Democrats.
Manchin said Tuesday he will always be willing to work with the president but expects GOP leaders will make sure the White House backs his opponent.
REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN HAVE A BAD DAY
It wasn’t a great night to be sitting congressman.
Lost in Blankenship’s battle in West Virginia was Rep. Evan Jenkins, who finished a quiet second place. He’ll be leaving Congress in January.