Natalie Tennant’s campaign for the U.S. Senate wants to use the government shutdown to try to make headway against opponent Shelley Moore Capito.

Capito, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, leads Tennant in a recent Public Policy Poll by 50 percent to 36 percent.  However, the Tennant campaign is more interested in poll numbers for Congressional Republicans following the government shutdown than the head-to-head match-up at this point.

Most polls show Americans upset with both parties over the partial shutdown, but Republicans get more of the blame.  For example, a Wall Street Journal poll found 53 percent believe the Republicans were responsible, while the next highest percentage of blame, 31 percent, went to President Obama.

The Tennant campaign is trying to make some of the fallout stick to Capito, and she is getting some help from the national party.

The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is charging in a release this morning that the shutdown cost the West Virginia economy $104 million, according to data from Moody’s Analytics.  “Congresswoman Capito left West Virginians to pay the price for her recklessness and irresponsibility and they will hold her accountable in 2014,” said DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky.

The shutdown has cost Republicans in other states.  A Public Policy Poll last month found that Republicans in key Senate races lost ground to Democratic opponents when voters were told where the candidates stood on the shutdown.

Notably, PPP’s Tom Jensen tells me they did not poll the Capito-Tennant race because Capito has a double-digit lead.

So, how will Capito respond?  So far she hasn’t, declining to take the bait when I asked her during an appearance last week on Talkline for her reaction to a Tennant news release criticizing her on the shutdown.

Capito’s campaign knows the best strategy, at least when you have a substantial lead, is to ignore the opponent. A Capito insider said, “She’s keeping her head down and doing her job.”

It would be easier for Tennant to draw Capito out if she, or the DSCC, went to the airwaves with political ads, but it’s awfully early for that and Tennant is just getting her fundraising off the ground.

Tennant did raise more than $150,000 in the two weeks following the announcement of her candidacy, but Capito raised $777,500 in the third quarter and has $3.2 million on hand.

Senators Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, are holding a fundraiser for Tennant at Rockefeller’s Washington, D.C. home Nov. 20th.  The suggested contribution levels range from $1,000 to $5,000.


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  • george

    Im not about to put another Dem in office if I can help it. The last 6 years have been horrible.....Our religious freedoms have been attacked. The unborn children are still being slaughtered. No roads, No jobs, No respect for Our Country and West Virginia is still ranking near the bottom in every category........Still want more of the same? Vote for Tennant.............and lets keep West Virginia spiraling downhill....................

  • Buckeye Willy

    If you like your insurance you can keep it. If you like your doctor you can keep them. We'll start by lowering premiums an average of $2500. Who promised all that? You know democrats. Hmmm, I wonder what the GOP will campaign on?

  • Mike

    Keep showing that picture of Natalie Tennant and Nick Casey doing their best Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson impersonations at the Obama/Biden rally…that's all the campaigning Shelley needs to do.

    • realitycheck

      It is a good picture. put that on billboards and tv ads and watch Natalie's numbers plummet.

  • D.P.

    Debra - are you really as ABSOLUTELY IGNORANT as your post suggests??? I read twice what you said and finally concluded you are blaming WV's problems on Shelley and the FEW other Republicans that FORTUNATELY are FINALLY GETTING ELECTED in WV!!!

    Obviously you are TOTALLY CLUELESS that the Democratic Party has ruled and ruined this state for 80+ years!!! When Shelley gets elected, she will be the FIRST Republican Senator representing this state in at least 50 to 60 years!!!

    Sadly, it's people like you that have played such an important role (by voting straight Dem) in KEEPING our state in such terrible shape!!! I would highly advise you (I'm sure WITHOUT success) to do your homework before again submitting such a buffonish post!!!

    Shelley in a LANDSIDE!!!!!!!!!!

    • Debra

      No, I am not stupid. If we were talking about governing Republicans I might not be so negative. But she will not be helping WV as the new Republican Party has moved so far to the right. They are now the party of no which means nothing will happen to help WV. We need to stick with Democrats because this divided government does not produce anything but gridlock. And many of the youth are leaving because of the right turn in the politics. I have a young son and spend time with a lot of high school/ college age youth. Lately they feel embarrassed to tell people they are from WV. The youth largely want Obamacare, same sex marriage and oh yea, clean energy. When people say they wish we had good jobs so their children could come home, they know not what they ask. If a large number of youth ever do have a real reason to move back, the state will move quickly back to the Democrats. There was just a story last night that since the federal law was passed giving military same sex spouses benefits , WV is one of nine states that refuses to issue ID cards to spouses of same sex military. My son is in the military and thinks this is just plain dumb. Keep moving to the right. But I'm not stupid. Just realistic.

      • Shadow

        Who does your son share his foxhole with?

        • Debra

          Not sure I understand your question. Branch of military? Or are you implying something else?

          • Debra

            Good, WV Metronews reporting today that Guard will process same sex marriage ID cards .

  • bob johnson

    Listened to your interview.
    She basically sidestepped every question you ask her.
    I applaud you for trying to get her to answer yes or no if she voted on the Affordable Care Act.
    Typical liberal democrat.
    It is hard to believe that democrats support this President when he is taking our country down the tubes.
    Also, you do need to admit that Obama lied.
    Seems to be all that he does.
    Typical Chicago mob mentality.

  • Debra

    This state will continue to move even further to the right because we are a dying state. For the first time last year we had more deaths than births. That trend is only going to continue as most of our youth are leaving the state in droves after graduation. < youth=< births= unsustainable elder strain on the state. This will just lead to the state wide nursing home called WV Manor filled with GRUMPY OLD MEN and women with no youth to care for them. Soon most of the people in the state will be to old to work in what ever coal mines are left and we will be the #1 state receiving those food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, SS and any other benefits we can get. So by all means, keep voting for Capito. Don't break the trend of being set in your ways. Don't work on moving forward with fresh ideas on job creation or show tolerance of those who are not like you. Yea, vote for Capito cause everything here is Hunky Dory. We're the happiest state that gets the most restful sleep in the good ole USA!

  • Dave Rao

    It's a long way until the election and it won't be the first time an underdog soars past the front runner. The choice is voting for a Friend of the Coal Industry...or a Friend of the Coal Miners. Women will remember Capito's horrid record. Everyone will remember Shutdown Shelley, the Goddess of Gridlock's comments on Climate Change.

  • Bigfish

    It's really too bad this election is not in 2016 when hilary will be on the ticket and win wv. Natalie would easily on Hilary's coat tails.

  • vashti

    Ms. Capito voted against the coal mine safety act until it was watered down. She voted against the violence against woman act unitl it was watered donw to ineffectiveness. those are points NT could use to her advantage. ala she is a friend of coal miners not coal owners. with the sale of consols mines and the uncertainty that brings she could use that to her advantge in conjunction iwth the coal mine safety act vote.
    i am guessing we have a long way to go and it will all come down to money. if NT can raise significant funds it could go either way.

    • The bookman

      Donw and iwth are misspelled...just sayin'...the rest of your post will not be enough to move the stick for Natalie...when she gets the mic like she did today, she has to help herself... Capito will busy herself in DC and appear above the fray...Rockefeller wanted no part of her...let that sink in a bit!

  • cutty77

    Natalie is no match for Shelley. Don't even try to go there.

  • Fooled_By_Politicians_Never _Again

    Let Manchin and Rockefeller and Tomblin and Perdue and all the other Tennant buddies go out there and campaign for her. It'll just damage Manchin and crew with the voters. Where's the nearest place to donate to Capito? I'd give my last red cent to see that dingbat "Secretary of State" in the trash heap of defeat.

  • ConservativeRealist

    There are several good posts here.

    First, Capito is to savvy to be drawn out.

    Second, Tennant will have enough on her plate trying to distance herself from the War on Coal and her own previous glowing support of Obama before she should take to making the government shut-down a campaign talking point. Polls show that Americans are just as upset with the Democrats as they are with the GOP...not really a "win-win" campaign topic...

    Third, if Tennant is to have a snowball's chance she will have to show her own strengths as opposed to her opponent's weaknesses. As the Bookman posster noted, Capito has, "...a sort of a middle of the lineup seat in Congress...not a lead off hitter...plays good defense...bats .255 with few strikeouts...she is however a contributing member of the team in that she helps you win the game and doesn't lose them for you...everyone needs a good second baseman." That may be enough to fend off Tennant's personable style.

    Fourth, there is a lot of time between now and the primary and even more time til next November. Obama and the Dems are getting heat on Obamacare, Benghazi (Tennant has no foreign policy experience), NSA-gate, the budget, and a host of other issues that could blow-up in their faces and cause a great purge in both the House and Senate. This may be the only saving grace for Tennant - the voter's displeasure with incumbents.

    Lastly, Tennant needs to raise a lot of cash quickly - tough to do for a newbie on the national stage. Will the DNC kick in?...maybe, but they will be cagey and wait to see how well Tennant is polling later in the race...perhaps when it is to late.

  • takemetoemstar

    of course, politics at its worst! instead of touting what NT is going to do in her life and in office (if she would win) let's just attack the opponent, call names and make accusations. b/c that's what we do now in politics. just wait on it... the personal attacks will begin b/c NT is behind and SMC has the better ideas and is in the lead.

  • Patchy

    The DSCC does love its cliches and warnings of doom. Tennant is a perfect fit for them - she never met a trite phrase she didn't like.

  • CaptainQ

    Did everyone hear Natalie Tennant on Hoppy's show this morning? When Hoppy asked her several times whether she would've voted FOR the ACA (ObamaCare), Natalie went into full 'spin-cycle' so hard, she could've created her own personal hurricane! She went out of her way to not directly answer the question 'YES'.

    Have to admit, Natalie has been very well coached by her political handlers. During the radio interview, she shoved as many political 'sound bytes' against Capito as she could wedge into it. Some of the points she repeated so often, it was tiring to listen to.

    Bottom line, in WV, trying to frame Capito with the government shutdown is like beating a dead horse. It just won't work, no matter how many times Natalie repeats it.

    P.S. -- Even the popular cartoon show 'South Park' took a shot at the problems with the ObamaCare website on its program last night. You KNOW you're in trouble when your 'product' is getting lampooned on South Park!