Republicans stuck to their old campaign strategy in West Virginia – trying to tie their Democratic opponent to President Obama. They figured it worked in the last two special elections – including Anthony Weiner’s old House seat in New York – and it was sure to work again. However, this time it didn’t work and after a Republican onslaught of millions of dollars into the race in the final weeks, the Democrat – Mr. Earl Ray Tomblin – won the election for governor over his Republican challenger Bill Maloney.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Tomblin, 59, led Maloney by 50 percent to 47 percent, or about 8,500 votes. Three other candidates received low levels of support, including one associated with the Green Party, who won 2 percent.
The court-ordered special election had become as much about the Democratic president as about the candidates on the ballot in the last days before the vote.
Outside groups poured millions of dollars into the contest, recognizing that a third special election loss for a Democrat within just the past three weeks would have been especially damaging as Obama’s 2012 re-election bid gears up.
The Democratic Governors Association spent $2.4 million on the race, and the Republican Governors Association spent $3.4 million, including a spot that began running a few days ago in the expensive Washington, D.C., media market tying Tomblin to Obama’s healthcare law.
Had Maloney won this election, the Republican propaganda machine would be calling it a referendum on Obama. I wonder if the lost would be looked upon as a referendum on Republican’s policies…!