Editor’s Note: With so much heat rather than light in the media world today, Liberty Nation presents the following series on the crucial midterm elections that will be taking place. These elections will likely determine the course of the Trump presidency and as such should be looked at with in-depth analysis. Thus, each week LN author Graham Noble will be giving our readers a state-by-state look at the upcoming elections. This week, he covers House and Senate Races in West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
West Virginia, a reliably blue state from the early 1930s until the turn of the century, has been trending ever more Republican – at least in presidential elections. No Democratic candidate for the White House has even managed to claim 50% of the vote since at least 2000. President Donald Trump won the state in 2016 with a massive 68.6% to 26.5% victory over Hillary Clinton. The latter’s open hostility toward the coal industry likely played a significant role in that trouncing.
In 2008, former President Barack Obama won Wisconsin by a margin of almost eight percentage points and he carried the state again in 2012 by just under 6 points. In 2016, Wisconsin chose Trump over Clinton by little more than one half of a percentage point, but this was one of the cracks that enabled the president to break through the ‘blue wall’ of upper Midwestern states. Wyoming was an entirely different story. No Democrat running for the White House in the past five elections has cracked 33% of the vote. Clinton received less than 22% of Wyoming’s votes while Trump carried the state with 67.4%.
Senator Joe Manchin, who represents West Virginia along with Republican Shelley Capito, was perhaps the most vulnerable Democratic Senator running for re-election in 2018. Current polling indicates that the seat is probably a tossup, at this point. His opponent is Republican Patrick Morrisey, who recently came out on top in a bruising GOP primary. Morrisey may not be the candidate for the job, however, and Republicans may have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in this state. Capito will run for re-election in 2020.
The three congressional districts in West Virginia are all represented by Republicans. Although Evan Jenkins will not be running for re-election to his third district seat, there is little chance his successor will not also be a Republican.
Senators Tammy Baldwin (D) and Ron Johnson (R) represent Wisconsin. Only Baldwin faces a re-election battle this year in the state that Trump won so narrowly, and indications are that the Democratic Party may hold onto this seat. Five of the state’s eight congressional districts are represented by Republicans and those observers still predicting a blue wave in November see Democrats flipping one or two of those seats. In the crosshairs of the minority party is Paul Ryan’s first district seat. The House Speaker is retiring from Congress in January 2019. The aforementioned wave is looking a lot less likely, these days, and Republicans could feel confident about holding onto their seats in Wisconsin.
One of Wyoming’s two Republican Senators faces a midterm re-election contest in 2018. John Barrasso will almost certainly be returning to the Senate in 2019. His colleague, Michael Enzi, faces re-election in 2020. The state’s at-large Representative, Liz Cheney, will also be returning to Congress.
Midterm Election Watch predicts Republicans will narrowly fail to unseat Joe Manchin in West Virginia but might manage to steal Baldwin’s Wisconsin seat. We would probably not put money it, though.
Join us next week as our series discusses how prospects for both the Republican and Democratic parties are looking, with the midterm elections just five months away.