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He declared himself "Trumpier than Trump", after seeing the tweet, confirming that Trumpism has moved into something larger than just the president. He initially endorsed the establishment candidate, then-Sen. He also is running television ads targeting the Taiwanese heritage of McConnell's wife, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

"West Virginians are not going to vote for candidates who have failed to address the drug epidemic, aligned themselves with abortionists, and have never created a job", he said.

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". Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsGOP takes gloves off against Blankenship in West Virginia Morrisey: Blankenship "would get crushed" in November Mueller emerges as villain in Republican campaigns MORE came in second, with 28 percent, and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in third, with 27 percent.

Trump also said "Remember Alabama", referring to Democrat Doug Jones' stunning win in the Senate race in that state in December over Republican Roy Moore, who was dogged by allegations of improper relations with underage girls.

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

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

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"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. He won the state in the 2016 election by 42 percentage points.

In a statement Monday, Blankenship dismissed Trump's tweet, calling the president "a very busy man and he doesn't know me and he doesn't know how flawed my two main opponents are in this primary".

Two sane Republicans - Rep. Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrissey - also are running, and either one would make a good nominee.

Republicans are sounding the alarm as it appears Blankenship, who spent a year in prison for violating mining safety regulations following an explosion that killed 29 miners, is leading the pack again ahead of Tuesday's primary.

"Todd Rokita puts on a MAGA hat, he runs around the state, but on the tough votes...he's against President Trump", GOP Rep. Luke Messer said of his Republican House colleague Rokita in a debate last month. Blankenship is one of 6 GOP candidates vying for the U.S. Senate seat that is now held by W.Va. Democrat Joe Manchin. Trump Jr. tweeted. "No more fumbles like Alabama". He followed the comments with an ad saying: "Swamp captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for China people". Jeff Flake, a frequent Trump critic and someone mentioned as a possible 3rd party candidate for president in 2020, hit Trump for that mentality in a tweet Monday.


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