In a Wednesday evening open-letter, failed West Virginia senate candidate and convicted coal CEO Don Blankenship went into full attack mode against President Donald Trump. Standing beside Morrisey and Jenkins, he called on voters to oust Manchin. "We've got a nominee that can win in November".
In both cases, Trump's party appears to have avoided the missteps that doomed candidates in high-profile Senate races in the past.
On Tuesday, two Democrats without ideologically pure voting records advanced without much friction: Centrist Sen.
But voters relegated Don Blankenship to third place and opted instead for state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Of all the perplexing things that Don Blankenship, the coal-mining executive turned Republican candidate in West Virginia's U.S. Senate primary, said in recent days, the most curious might be his definition of racism.
In the OH governor's race, Cordray will face state Attorney General Mike DeWine, who defeated Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor for the Republican nomination.
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.
Voters in West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina headed to the polls Tuesday to decide a number of key primaries.
Based on Tuesday's results, CNN is moving four races to a more competitive ranking - all in favor of the Democrats.
In Ohio, incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia won by 40 percentage points.
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"It does not look to be in the cards tonight, but I would like to thank you all for your support in this candidacy", Jenkins told the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington. The brother of Vice President Mike Pence, Greg Pence, secured the Republican nomination for the VP's former House seat. He'll be the favorite to win the seat in November.
Between television campaign ads and heated debates, the race for the Republican nomination was certainly contentious. Troy Balderson won the crowded Republican primary.
In the ad, Blankenship also attacks McConnell, coining the phrase "cocaine Mitch" and calling him a "swamp captain". McKinley ran unopposed in Tuesday's primary.
Most of the districts represented in Tuesday's House primary races are considered safe for Republicans. With almost two-thirds of the vote counted, 567, 000 Republicans cast votes, to 412,000 Democrats. Sherrod Brown had more than $12 million in campaign cash entering the primary.
President Trump may play a big role in West Virginia's Senate election. He could also challenge the state's sour grapes law that doesn't allow a losing candidate in the primary to file as a third party candidate in the same race in the general election.
Manchin, the state's former governor, has held elected office in West Virginia for the better part of three decades.
No matter Tuesday's victor, Trump's team was keeping pressure on Manchin. They are among the small group of Democrats who supported a rollback of some Obama-era Wall Street regulations and voted for some of President Trump's nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, but have so far faced only minor anti-establishment blowback.
Manchin coasted to the Democratic nomination, but he remains a top Republican target this fall. "I don't get into the details of politics, but I just think that he should not be involved in the state at all", he said. Democrats will face an uphill climb is this southern West Virginia seat.
On behalf of the national Republican Party, Mountain Families PAC spent about $1.33 million advertising exclusively against Blankenship, reminding voters of his criminal history and water pollution caused by his mines. He came out strongly against Blankenship, who served prison time for a deadly mine disaster.
He repeatedly blamed government regulators for the disaster, casting himself as the victim of an overzealous Obama-era Justice Department - an argument Trump regularly uses to dismiss federal agents investigating his campaign's ties to Russian Federation.
Despite the slate of recent good news, Republicans can not be complacent and assume a favorable outcome in November.