CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With more than a year to go until the 2014 General Election, there is some movement in the race for Congress in West Virginia’s Third Congressional District, a U.S. House seat Congressman Nick Rahall has held for more than three decades.

The Cook Political Report recently moved the Third District from “leans Democrat” to “toss-up” and said Rahall could be in for “the race of his career.”

Cabell County State Senator Evan Jenkins changed political parties this year to run for the Republican nomination for Congress in the Third District in May and, possibly, challenge Rahall in November 2014.

“Evan Jenkins is a stronger candidate, at least on paper so far, than the past several Republicans who have made a strong run for this seat,” said David Wasserman with the Cook Political Report on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

The Report said, “Rahall won’t have President (Barack) Obama to contend with on the ballot next year, but the Administration’s decision to move forward with new energy regulations ensure the prevalence of the EPA in this race.”

Wasserman said Rahall’s district is the second worst performing U.S. House district for President Obama that a Democrat still holds.

The Jenkins campaign has released its own poll from Harper Polling, a Republican polling group, that showed Rahall had the support of 46 percent of voters to 42 percent for Jenkins.  A total of 44 percent of those questioned have an unfavorable opinion of Rahall, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1976.

“We wanted to get an honest assessment of where we started and so, I think, that’s what this is,” said Andy Sere, a Republican consultant with the Evan Jenkins campaign, about the poll.  He said the numbers make it clear that there is time for Jenkins to gain ground using a couple of methods.

“One thing, Evan’s got to get out there and campaign which he’s excited about doing.  Two, we’ve got to raise the funds necessary to get our message out,” said Sere on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball still has the race leaning to Rahall, while Stuart Rothenberg has it “Democrat favored.”

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  • Suzie

    I think Richard Ojeda may be sneaking up behind Rahall. Check out his Facebook page Ojeda for Congress.

  • Jimmy

    Maybe this is the guy.

  • Richards Doesntfitzwell

    I enjoy the fact that our government rewards Iran with billions of dollars for moving forward with intercontinental ballistics program and nuclear technology. Perhaps, the next few billion can be spent on infrastructure. Oh wait, that's the Republican fault as well, because Obama is flawless and I am Richard.

    Rahall has been in there too long: POLITICS SHOULD NEVER BE A CAREER. Bring in term limits and Richard stop slobbering over your government job and Democratic idols. Grow a set and be independent.

  • Richard Fitzwell

    Yeah, just what WV needs. Another vote for Boehner and his merry band of anti-government zealots. Our economy remains stagnant because of the actions and inactions of republicans in both Houses of Congress, lurching us from crisis to crisis.

  • RogerD

    That's good to hear. Could someone share exactly who is running against him? Thanks.

  • David Kennedy

    Lets hope that a 'bonafide contender from the opposition party emerges.
    It looks like the 'Good Old Cabell County boys are smelling the roses and are covering all bases by putting a R.I.N.O. in the mix.
    The 'Electorate is 'Pi**ed this election cycle and are making demands...they may even show up at the polls and vote this time.
    My biggest gripe at the Polls is NOT having somebody to vote for...I'm really tired of 'hacks.
    AS a Democrat for over 30 years, I'm looking at the Tea Party for some really fresh faces.

  • Southern WV Stephen

    A State Senator that has been in office for 17 years and was bought and paid for to switch parties is NOT a better direction for this state.

    At least you know Rahall is a nice man. The other guy...too many rumors. I'm sure it will all come out next year.

    • Richard Fitzwell

      I don't know about the 'rumors' but reality is enough to make one wonder just where this professional politician Jenkins stands. Does he have any core values or is he simply available to the highest bidder?

    • Interesting123

      Well I heard a rumor that was the exact opposite.... funny how that works.

      • RealConservative

        very true!

  • Low Rider

    Time for Rahall to go. Old school, old politics. WV needs a fresh new face in the House to represent southern West Virginia and rid it of the good old boy network and tainted politics.