John McCormack at The Weekly Standard:
Republicans are panicking as internal polls show Don Blankenship, a coal baron who spent time in jail for a mining disaster that killed 29 workers, surging into the lead in the West Virginia Senate GOP primary over Attorney General Patrick Morrissey and Congressman Evan Jenkins.
The results of an internal campaign poll conducted for one rival Senate campaign on Saturday and Sunday were: Blankenship 31 percent, Jenkins 28 percent, Morrissey 27 percent.
The results of another internal poll conducted Friday and Saturday were: Blankenship 28 percent, Morrissey 27 percent, Jenkins 14 percent. Two weeks earlier, the same rival campaign found Blankenship at 14 percent, Morrissey at 29 percent, and Jenkins at 26 percent.
Politico reported Saturday night that internal polling showed Blankenship surging, but the specific numbers are being reported for the first time by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.At the urging of Mitch McConnell -- whom Blankenship called "Cocaine Mitch" -- Trump issued a Tweet:
A few things stand out about the tweet.To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State...No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
- Instead of denouncing Blankenship's racist remarks and his responsibility for 29 deaths, Trump merely referred to his electability.
- The "Remember Alabama" line makes sense only to political junkies who remember the Roy Moore fiasco -- probably a tiny share of the electorate.
- A lone tweet is probably not the best way to reach a state with a relatively low rate of Internet usage.
The tweet will probably not affect the outcome. Trump was just throwing a cyber-bone to the GOP establishment.