West Virginia’s Primary Was an Endorsement Showdown Between President Trump and Joe Manchin and You Know Who Won That One – Opinion

Last night two GOP incumbents faced off in the primary election for West Virginia’s new second district. David McKinley was elected in the House of Representatives in West Virginia-01, in 2010. He won a seat that had been held by Democrats since over 40 years. Alex Mooney was elected in the House in the WV-02 2014 election. Full Disclosure: I am Alex Mooney. Prior to running for a House seat, he was my senator. When the RedMaryland website I created was still in operation, I worked with him. Alex Mooney is a supporter of mine. The head-to-head matchup was necessary for two reasons. The first was that West Virginia lost an electorate seat in the reapportionment process. McKinley and Mooney were placed on the WV-01 map. Fivethirtyeight.com provides excellent after/before maps. The second factor was McKinley’s decision not to retire–he’s 75–and create a contested primary. This is not to say a 75-year-old can’t run for office, but just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

McKinley was a clear choice. Mooney’s old WV-02 was almost totally combined with WV-03; the new WV-01 was basically McKinley’s old district, only a little more compact.

During the course of the primary, the race also became a test of strength for two heavyweights: Donald Trump and West Virginia’s Democrat Senator Joe Manchin.

Mooney received President Trump’s endorsement in November. I believe three things contributed to the endorsement. President Trump tends to endorse younger candidates; Mooney was an unabashed Trump supporter from the early days of 2016, and McKinley was one of 13 GOP incumbents President Trump has pledged to defeat because they voted for Biden’s boondoggle “infrastructure” bill. Mooney received Trump’s endorsement just a week after threatening war on RINOs. McKinley also supports climate change. He voted to authorize the January 6 Self-Beclowning Committee, and he’s very pro-alphabet people, so President Trump’s decision process can’t have been all that difficult.

McKinley was being beaten by Mooney over support for the Infrastructure Bill. Manchin, a Democrat, became his endorser.


Many conservatives have had a crush on Joe Manchin for the last two years. As far as I can tell, it’s not so much based on what Machin is for or has accomplished as him providing a critical vote to prevent some stupidity by the Biden bunch. Still, it smacks of desperation when a Republican candidate for Congress calls for a lifeline from a Democrat senator when running in a primary election in a district he’s represented for 12 years.

Mooney was victorious by close to 20 points.

If anyone doubts the value of Trump vs. Manchin endorsement in West Virginia, take a close look at last night’s results.

Nearly 130 presidential candidates have been endorsed by Trump in the 2022 election cycle. Nearly 50 of the candidates have won and one lost. (The Trump Endorsed Candidate In Nebraska Suffers A Loss and Legacy Media Wants it to be a Referendum On Trump). As Pennsylvania and Georgia voters go to the polls in the coming days, I think he’ll get more losses. However, media outlets should stop wondering whether President Trump is still influencing the GOP. He does.


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