Morning Mix: Democrat Wins Special Election No One Really Noticed Was Happening


I tend to pride myself on being a little bit of an election junkie.  Especially special elections, where you only really have to pay attention to one race at a time.

So, I’m pretty embarrassed to admit I had no idea there was a special election yesterday.

I’m not the only one, though.  The campaign to elect a new governor of West Virginia was one of the most under-noticed races of the year.

The winner was Earl Ray Tomblin, the Democrat who took over for Joe Manchin when he became a senator.  Tomblin beat Republican opponent Bill Maloney in a very tight race, even more tight considering that Maloney was once 30 points behind. Both sides credit the narrowing race to a Republican backed ad that tied Tomblin to the implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care reform, a result that doesn’t bode well for many Democrats facing reelection in 2012.

West Virginia’s move from a solidly Democratic state to one that is trending more Republican served as a great case study in messaging and tactics for campaigns heading into an election year, and the GOP was happy to use the race as a test market for their evolving approach.  Despite the loss, the party no doubt sees such a tight race as a key sign of success and will replicate the strategy as 2012 gets underway.

Meanwhile, the next special election will be held in Oregon on January 31st.  Unless, of course, another one has snuck up on me somewhere.


Photo credit: wikimedia commons


William Y.
William Y5 years ago

Gayle J. you hit the nail on the head. "If the people in this country would educate themselves about the issues and candidates, the negative ads would be totally ineffective."

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

We can help by joining one of the Occupy protests in our area. We will be attending the Occupy San Diego at the Civic Center Downtown beginning on Oct 7 at 3"30PM. The more people that show up the better are chances are of getting attention and respect.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

We must pressure the righties to pass the Presidents jobs bill. We need those jobs and it will help us defeat the crazy tea party.

Nicholas Rudolph
Nicholas Rudolph5 years ago

It amazes me that the Koch Brothers didn't jump in and buy that one. I guess they are focused on buying the elections in 2012, that they let this one slip buy. We will never have a true democracy when people like the Kochs are legally permitted to influence the less intelligent among us with their stupid republican program.

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

I understand they won with a whole lot less money than the Republicans too. The political forces are taking the resources that companies would otherwise be using to re-invest in their companies get get their croonies elected. Want to know where your job went? Ask your politican!!!


roy m.
Roy Phillips5 years ago

this wasn't just one ad that made up that difference. you wouldn't believe the number of ads the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee paid for in that state. and how many of them contain outright lies and distortions. one, for instance, claimed that Gov. Tomblin had been on the job for 20 some years, as i recall, and in that time, he had "quadrupled his own pay". what it left unsaid was Tomblin began his political career as a member of that states House of Delegates, then was elected to the State Senate, then to the newly created postion of Lt. Gov., and finally assumed the duties of acting governor. it would seem natural that, after all that time in service and considering that he'd advanced to higher postions with more responsiibility, of course his pay went up. in that same ad, it was mentioned he took his family on vacation and that the taxpayer had to foot the bill. well, his salary came from the state, and if he used that money to take them on vacation, then, by extension you could wrongly surmise that the taxpayer had paid for Tomblin's family vacations. but this was only the tip of the iceberg. as the election grew closer, the number of similar ads increased and so did the distortions and lies. i would like to know how much it cost the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee to put on this ad campaign. oh, and the reason it was so effective to tie Tomblin in with Obama? the West Virginia Coal Association has been waging war on Obama's image since the man

Tierney G.
Tierney G5 years ago

The Republican party is out to cause the demise of liberals as in kill all of them,so i was told by a conservative on a conservative site. Now usually i would take that with a grain of salt being that so many are out of work including republicans but i think this time it should be taken seriously. These people on the extreme right are officialy INSANE and most likely on the brink of violence. I hope I am wrong.

Fred Krohn
Fred Krohn5 years ago

The Dummycrat party died in 1963 when a mobster VP was allowed to eliminate JFK to get into office and perpetrate criminal socialism. The Repulsivan party earned that nickname and died in 1992 when they failed to contest the ACORN voter fraud that allowed Komrad Wilhelm Klinton to invade the Whitehouse and rape the nation. Down with big government, down with Obummercare (and Romneycare), down with the current administration, down with all gun control and the DHS/TSA.

Fred Krohn
Fred Krohn5 years ago

I wish an independent could have won that one. I despise both the Dummycrat and the Repulsivan in that West VA fiasco. Unfortunately I live in VA, not WV, and couldn't vote in that one...

Terry O.
Terry O.5 years ago

In Britain political parties are not allowed to advertise on TV. Allowing TV adverts usually means that the party with the most money can win by outspending the other parties. The US system is wrong because it means that the candidate is inevitably in hock to his/her backers. A recipe for corruption.