Opinion The West Virginia primary shows Trump’s election was no aberration

17:27  08 may  2018
17:27  08 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

GOP senator: It’s not that Blankenship 'can’t win,' it’s that he 'shouldn’t win'

  GOP senator: It’s not that Blankenship 'can’t win,' it’s that he 'shouldn’t win' Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) came out Monday against West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship, saying the former coal CEO and ex-convict shouldn't win the general election against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Flake's remarks come a day before West Virginia Republicans cast primary ballots to decide on their party's nominee to face Manchin. Republicans in Washington, including President Trump, have slammed Blankenship as a bad pick who would lose a general election fight against Manchin.

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Opinion The West Virginia primary shows Trump ’ s election was no aberration . Opinion Don’t be fooled. Giuliani has a strategy.

Don Blankenship wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post

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Sooner or later, Donald Trump will be gone. Trumpism, however, is here to stay.

Look at West Virginia, which holds its Republican Senate primary Tuesday. Candidate Don Blankenship, a disgraced coal baron who spent a year in jail after a mine explosion killed 29 workers, was reportedly trailing two respectable GOP rivals just over a week ago.

Then Blankenship, who calls himself “Trumpier than Trump,” uncorked a racist and demagogic jeremiad about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and his Asian American wife, Elaine Chao, who happens to be a member of President Trump’s Cabinet. Blankenship dubbed McConnell “Cocaine Mitch,” implying he profited from drugs once found aboard a ship owned by McConnell’s father-in-law, who Blankenship calls a “China person.”

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Rupp, a professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, also notes that Judd was the only other candidate on the state’ s Democratic primary ballot when Obama was running for re- election . “We will look back at Judd’ s showing in the 2012 primary as an aberration ,” Rupp said.

West Virginia Results. Aug. 1, 2017, 11:22 AM ET. President Pres. Trump Governor Gov. Justice House 0 D 3 R State Legislature Primary Results. 386. + Show all counties – Hide smaller counties.

“Swamp Captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for China people,” Blankenship said in an ad. “While doing so, Mitch has gotten rich. In fact, his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.”

It was disgusting — and it apparently worked. Internal polling by one of Blankenship’s opponents showed Blankenship surging from third to first place, according to Axios’s Jonathan Swan.

Trump finally intervened with a tweet Monday, not disapproving of the vile things Blankenship has done but saying Blankenship couldn’t beat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III in November.

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Whether or not the president stops Blankenship, the West Virginia GOP primary confirms that this sort of vulgar demagoguery is becoming routine. Trump’s election was no aberration. Rather, he exploited deep problems in American politics that had been building for years — and others, following his example, will exploit those same problems after he’s gone.

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In an entertaining twist, Trump did something no career politician would do: He urged his West Virginia supporters not to get out and vote. “You don’t have to vote anymore, save your vote for the general election , forget this one, the primary ’ s done,” he said last week. Enough of them showed up to hand

Primary elections —in which registered voters select a candidate whom they believe should be a political party' s candidate for elected office to run in the general election —do more than simply select nominees. They often reflect a party' s self-definition and sense of unity.

Before Trump, there was Sarah Palin, the tea party movement, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), the Republican Study Committee, the Freedom Caucus. The Republican Party tried to harness the rage of the nativist right but ultimately couldn’t contain it. House speakers John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) failed, as will whoever leads the party next. Now we have Blankenship, Roy Moore, Joe Arpaio and a proliferation of name-calling misfits and even felons on Republican ballots. They are monsters created by the GOP, or rather the power vacuum the GOP has become.

Political scientists have observed that American politics has deteriorated into an unstable combination of weak parties and strong partisanship — dry brush for the likes of Trump and Blankenship to ignite. The 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign- ­finance reform restricted party fundraising, and the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling in 2010 essentially destroyed parties by giving everybody else freedom to spend unlimited sums to buy politicians. The moderating influence of parties was replaced by the radicalizing influence of dark money.

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  The Latest: Voters in 4 states deciding primary elections The Latest on Tuesday's primaries in four states (all times local):4:25 p.m.Voters across four states that Donald Trump carried in 2016 are fanning out to decide primary elections.In West Virginia, Tuesday's primary includes races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and the Legislature. The big race to watch is the Republican primary for Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's seat. One of the candidates is Don Blankenship, who served prison time for a deadly mine accident.Indiana voters are casting ballots in a three-way race for the Republican U.S. Senate seat nomination.

Presidential election results from the 2016 West Virginia Democratic Primary and West Virginia Republican Primary May 10: West Virginia Republican Primary . 34 delegates. Donald Trump . The data below show the share of the electorate in each of several groups and how each group voted.

Republican Primary . Donald J. Trump won West Virginia , according to A.P. Candidates. Vote. Pct. Delegates. Trump Donald J. Trump . – Show fewer candidates. Last updated 10:38 AM ET. Winner called by A.P. Leader. Trump .

Related to this, partisanship in Washington escalated, aggravated by partisan redistricting that puts almost all House members in safe seats where the only threat comes from primaries. Primary voters tend to favor extreme candidates — who, once in Congress, turn politics into warfare.

Democrats suffer from the weak party/strong partisanship phenomenon too, as seen in the Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) campaign’s squabbles with the Democratic National Committee and the recent efforts by some Sanders followers to taint any candidate supported by the party. But the problem is most severe among Republicans, and it’s no small irony that the man who arguably did the most to create the current system is now under attack by it. McConnell, who championed unlimited dark money, cheeredCitizens United and dramatically accelerated the partisan revenge cycle on the Senate floor, is now the victim of extremists his own actions created.

McConnell-affiliated groups have spent in the seven digits for TV ads opposing Blankenship in West Virginia. But Blankenship, free to spend as much as he desires, has far outspent his opponents, reportedly buying $640,000 of TV time in the past week alone. And he’s appealing to voters’ worst instincts. “I don’t see this insinuation by the press that there’s something racist about saying ‘China person,’ ” Blankenship said during a debate hosted by Fox News. “Some people are Korean persons and some of them are African persons. There’s not any slander there.” He suggested McConnell’s family ties could disqualify him from voting on China policy.

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Trump , Sessions relationship takes new turn with special counsel decision MORE. Polling shows Bernie Sanders Bernard (Bernie) Sanders Sunday shows preview: Trump escalates Clinton, though, seemed ready this week to fight it out in West Virginia , both in the primary and general elections .

What were the 10 most important lessons from this primary election ? 1. Money beats name recognition in the W. Va . Supreme Court race. If there is a #NeverTrump vote in West Virginia , it is very tiny. Meanwhile, exit polls show Trump winning one-third of all DEMOCRATIC voters against

Trump didn’t condemn such filth; he merely said Blankenship “can’t win” and cited the example of Moore — who Trump unsuccessfully opposed in the Alabama GOP primary.

Blankenship responded by calling Trump a “swamp” creature. “Tomorrow, West Virginia will send the swamp a message — no one, and I mean no one, will tell us how to vote,” he said. “As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump, and this morning proves it.”

West Virginia Republicans have their say Tuesday. But this much we already know: McConnell unleashed the forces now shredding his party. Blankenship, like Trump, exploited those forces. And nobody controls them.

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Trump called Blankenship after Senate primary loss: report .
President Trump called ex-coal executive Don Blankenship on Wednesday, one day after Blankenship lost the GOP Senate nomination in West Virginia's, according to Politico. Three unnamed sources described the brief call to Politico as "straightforward, polite and cordial," with Trump offering praise for Blankenship's campaign.

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