By Igor Derysh
West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district is among the most conservative in the nation, but a new poll shows Democrats are making this year’s race very competitive.
The district had been represented by Rep. Evan Jenkins, a former Democrat himself, who vacated the seat to stage an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican Senate nomination. (State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the Republican primary, and will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin next month.) Now, two polls show split results in the race to replace Jenkins, which pits Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda, a retired Army officer, against Republican Carol Miller, a member of the state House of Delegates.
It would be the biggest “crossover” party flip in at least 20 years.
An Emerson poll conducted Sept. 13-15 showed Ojeda leading by five points among 274 registered voters. A New York Times/Siena poll, which sampled 499 likely voters in early September, found Miller leading by eight points. An earlier Monmouth pollconducted in June had Ojeda up by six.
The race should be a lock for the GOP, given that Donald Trump won West Virginia’s 3rd district by 49 points in 2016. FiveThirtyEight rates the district 37 percent more conservative than the country as a whole. But Ojeda is no stranger to converting Trump supporters: He won his state Senate election by 18 points, in a district Trump carried by 59. …
Get A Sense Of Who Richard Ojeda Is And How He Addresses The Crisis Facing His Constituents In This Interview With Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 11/9.
Check Out Ojeda’s Newest Ad, HERE.
A Progressive Organic Farmer’s Fighting Chance In Virginia
By Laura Flanders
The Laura Flanders Show (10/12/18)
For a while last week, I thought I was in the wrong place. While the nation’s eyes were on the Kavanaugh hearings, and half my women friends were in Washington, I was in southwest Virginia with a congressional campaign in rural America that big donors and DC Democrats don’t seem to care that much about.
Anthony Flaccavento, whom I’ve known for years on account of his work for bottom-up economics, is running in Virginia’s 9th, the long, southwest tip of the state. Our paths first crossed in the year-long strike over retiree healthcare for miners at Pittston Coal. Flaccavento was arrested with the picketers. Soon after that, he founded Appalachian Sustainable Development to help family farmers transition off tobacco. A farmer himself, he didn’t just tell growers what they “should” do, he enabled them to do it — and keep their farms — through driving organic produce to buyers and helping start year-round farmers markets where none existed before. He’s not just a do-gooder, he’s a real farmer and a producer, beef-farmer and supporter Will Clark told me, “Besides, we could do with some do-gooders in Congress, couldn’t we?”
Flaccavento’s race is winnable. The 9th was in Democratic hands before the Tea Party tide of 2010, and — read the local papers — even Republicans aren’t happy with the do-nothing, say-nothing performance of Morgan Griffith, a Freedom Caucus loyalist. Flaccavento won the primary with a convincing 79% percent, boosting Democrats from 32% to 45% of voters. Polls have him within single digits of the incumbent — even as close as 6%.
He’s running a bottom-up campaign that’s all about face-to-face. In three days, I watched him speak at his 93rd, 94th, and 95th town halls, speaking to students and teachers, miners, and Latino voters. He’s on track to hold 100 such meetings before November 6th. So far, he reckons he’s spoken to over 6,000 Virginians — and more, thanks to lots of door-knocking. Just before I arrived in tiny Floyd (census count 425), roughly half the town came out to hear the man they call “the Flacc.”
“It’s like rural progressives are coming out,” says co-campaign field director and Floyd local Meredith Dean.
But did I mention, the 9th district is as large as New Jersey? …