West Virginia primary: Blankenship has Republicans scrambling to avoid Roy Moore repeat

President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that Blakenship can not win the general election on Tuesday and suggested that West Virginians should either vote for Morrisey or the establishment-backed Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV).

In a Monday morning tweet, Trump explained that he was endorsing Morrisey because Blankenship is likely to lose the general election.

Blankenship is running against Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

He also referenced the failed U.S. Senate bid of Roy Moore in a December Alabama special election.

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

He responded to Trump's tweeted repudiation with a statement saying "the President is a very busy man and doesn't know me".

Blankenship has billed himself as an anti-establishment Republican in the vein of the unorthodox president, embracing the label that he is "Trumpier than Trump".

Blankenship served one year in prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, a misdemeanor.

Indeed, Mr. Blankenship's rising poll numbers have coincided with an increasing number of highly inflammatory statements and personal attacks on powerful figures such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. What about that time he referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chao's husband, as "Cocaine Mitch". Each claimed to have the support of the president, even though Mr. Trump made it explicit that he has no preference between the two.

"He (Trump) doesn't know how flawed my two main opponents are in this primary", Blankenship said.

In Alabama, Trump backed incumbent Luther Strange to fill the Republican-held seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became Attorney General. President TrumpDonald John TrumpBaldwin spotlights mother's drug addiction, efforts to combat opioid abuse in ad Giuliani says he's "focused on the law more than the facts right now" Cambridge Analytica ordered to hand over data on United States voter MORE won West Virginia by more than 40 points in 2016. This was going to be a tough race for the Republican candidate to begin with, Trippi added, but this primary fight means there's another unnecessary hurdle for the eventual candidate to overcome.

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Blankenship has used a parallel strategy, suggesting that his recent conviction in the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine was ordered by Obama.

IN and OH represent less treacherous scenarios for Republicans, but the GOP primary in the Hoosier State has been an all-out brawl to be President Trump's most loyal foot-soldier in the Senate.

So I'm gonna go out on a limb here and ask the people of West Virginia to make a wise decision and reject Blankenship!

Manchin has been a top GOP target since at least November 2016, when Trump won the state with 68.7 percent of the vote.

"I think the president is right here", McCarthy said.

"I hate to lose".

"No more fumbles like Alabama", he wrote. "We need to win in November".

Democrats have fed some of that feeling and enjoyed the show.

There's an argument that this is the kind of thing that could work uniquely well in West Virginia.

"They are in the middle of a bloodbath right now", said a gleeful West Virginia Democrat with ties to Manchin.

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