The National Republican Congressional Committee wanted everyone to know this week about its poll in West Virginia’s 3rd District Congressional race. The poll has Republican challenger Evan Jenkins ahead of Democratic incumbent Nick Rahall by 14 points, 54-40.

Naturally, the poll must be viewed skeptically because of its source, however, there is mounting evidence that the long-time incumbent is in the race of his life. The national Republican Party smells blood, and is focusing on the race.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake reports that “The conservative groups, led by the Chamber of Commerce, the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity and the American Energy alliance, have spent about $1.4 million since late 2013—the vast majority attacking Rahall.”

Meanwhile, Blake reports the House Majority PAC has spent only $160,000 in support of Rahall in the race.

The GOP poll suggests that those attack ads are paying off, with Rahall’s approval rating down to 38 percent, while 54 percent rate him negatively.  Perhaps more importantly, however, the poll can be used to generate more campaign contributions for Jenkins because it creates the impression that he can win.

Jenkins still trailed Rahall in the last campaign finance report (4th quarter 2013); Rahall had $840,000 in the bank, twice as much as Jenkins.  But the national interest in the race means third party money will be doused on the district, and so far most of the outside money has gone toward helping Jenkins.  Many of the ads criticize Rahall on issues like Obamacare–which he voted for–and the EPA.

The Post’s Blake now sees WV-3 as a toss-up, the same as the Cook Political Report.  In fact, Cook has had the Rahall-Jenkins race in the toss-up category since last fall.  Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved WV-3 from leans Democrat to toss-up last month. The Rothenberg Report still has WV-3 leaning Democrat.

The Crystal Ball’s Kyle Kondik writes, “Although Rahall is a proven commodity who is going to be difficult to defeat, the terrain he’s defending — 65% Romney — is just very challenging even taking into account the Mountain State’s local Democratic tradition, and outside Republican groups have been hammering away at him.”

It’s hard not to give at least a slight advantage to Rahall right now.  After all, he’s found a way to win elections every two years since 1976.  You don’t do that without some political acumen to go along with an advantage in party registration and weak competition.

But 2014 is shaping up to be a race like no other that WV-3 has seen.




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  • Truth

    Congressman Rahall will win again!! And, all you liars and hater of President Obama can go fly a kite! Lol

  • David Kennedy

    West Virginia is full of 'Tea Partiers... both Republican and Democrats.
    Part of the up and coming Wholesale Political Cleanse is to send 'nick-joe into retirement.
    The 'WAVE that Rush Limbaugh was talking about yesterday is currently off shore and will reach landfall on election day.
    I'll bet Senator Joe is pretty glad he is hanging on by a thread...(in hopes that the Voter Wrath will be softened by the time he's up for reelection).
    He would have galvanized America if he had supported the NRA (a year ago) instead of stabbing them in the back.
    This election cycle could be the end of the Democrat Party...
    It will be about 14 years before the voters forget why they have voted the Democrats out.

  • Sybal

    It has become apparent on the days Hop’sHip post that several multiple screen names also appear and argue with him. Equally apparent, Hip’sHop has an unhealthy compulsion to correct the punctuation use of others.

    Hop’sHip, would you happen to be a shy, grade school substitute?

  • Big Deal

    One more thing...Hoppy, you may want to focus more on the other 2 districts, those will probably be closer races than the 3rd district.

  • Big Deal

    As a moderate, I think Rahall will win again. Evan Jenkins has nothing to run on other than the Koch Brothers money. He is a turncoat Democrat opportunist. He will have less sway with the EPA, Obama, and any other legislation in the house. Republicans will maintain the house, but his vote will mean nothing in most cases.

    Rahall on the other hand, brings 38 years experience, influence, and power to that seat. While heat not change the EPA or Obamas mind on anything, he has better leverage with his vote. Also, the people that turn out to vote (seniors, veterans, and unions) have been well tended to by Nick Joe over the years, hence their loyalty. His roots are deep in southern WV, to deep to uproot with a few blasphemous tv ads.

    Also, WVians are a proud people, too proud to be bought by the Koch Brothers.

    • mntr Bob

      Deal, while I am not in favor of special interest money, why is the Koch money different than union money or Soros money?

      • Big Deal

        It's not different. I'm not saying that their money should buy elections either.
        But you have to admit, this time is different. They have even surpassed Don Blankenship's commitment level to buy this house seat. We have, in my lifetime, never seen these amounts of outside money flow into a WV race.
        People in the 3rd district may not like Obama, but Nick Joe has tended them well over the years. They are not naive enough to think that a rookie congressman will walk into DC and make Obama see things our way and at the same time bring home the bacon like Rahall has.

        On a different note, I find it astonishing the amount of people in the 3rd that go around bashing everything Obama and complain about him giving everything away for free to a bunch of lazy bums...and then they quietly put their hand out for their freebies when they think no one is looking. You know what I'm talking about.

        • mntr Bob

          Deal, imo the difference is the GOP sees a chance to unseat a dem and the reverse would be happening if the roles were reversed.

          • Big Deal

            You're right. The GOP is putting their eggs in one basket. I don't think they'll take the 3rd. Rahall knows his constituents and his constituents know him. The GOP should be cautious in the other 2 races, I think those races are going to be toss ups as well. All 3 of WV seats are up for grabs, might stay divided or might be a sweep either way.

        • Aaron

          I've traveled much of the 3rd district. Where is this so called bacon being spent?

          • Big Deal

            You're right, you won't find any skyscrapers and high end residential communities in the 3rd district. But ask a vet, ask a union member, ask a tourism business owner if their congressman is working for them, bringing federal dollars into their area. I bet you'll be surprised by the answer you get. Southern WV is not wealthy by any means not is it a thriving business center. But our best option is the current option. If you want to see how much more depressing it can be, put a turncoat freshman congressman in that seat, it will take him a term to get settled into the office, much less be productive for his district. And who would he represent, the coal miners or the coal owners? Nick Joe has served the thousands of miners in the district, not the 10 or so coal barons. That's why is has been reflected for nearly 40 years.

  • ShinnstonGuy

    It is a shame that our society has become so lazy that instead of learning about the candidates platforms we believe the malarkey passed to us in TV and radio ads. I am not supporting Rahall with this statement or Jenkins, I am just saying that people should vote on what they know, not what they hear. Otherwise, big money will continue to win, regardless of party.

    • Gadfly

      Agree. It’s the downfall of democracy.

    • mntnman

      Amen, I say Amen!

  • Jason412

    " I've counted about 4 more wars McCain has tried to get us into since he was defeated and for that I say thank God Almighty for Obama."

    If for nothing else, I also commend Obama for not jumping head first into any opportunity to start another war.

    I've noticed how when the Ukraine conflict first started many in these comments criticized Obama for suggesting the billion dollars to Ukraine, however I haven't heard any mention of the conflict in these comments since many Republicans have suggested "military options" in response to Russia. Military options you can bet would end up costing far more than a billion dollars

    The absolute last thing we need is more "military options" with an outcome that ends up resembling Iraq and Afghanistan. Ill take the less than 300 American casualties in Iraq in the 5 years Obama's been in office as opposed to the over 4,000 under Bush in the 6 years between 03-09. The Fox crowd is still ranting and raving about Obama over 4 American's losing their lives at Benghazi, but it wasn't long ago 4 American's dying was a daily occurence and barely considered newsworthy. I, for one, don't want to go back to that.

    • Aaron

      "If for nothing else, I also commend Obama for not jumping head first into any opportunity to start another war."

      Now that's funny. Besides forgetting about the fact that he's responsible for 75+% of the deaths in Afghanistan, he's ordered attacks on multiple nations and wages an unrelenting drone war to this day.

      I suppose next you'll tell us Obama ended the Iraq War.

      • Jason412

        The key word in the sentence you quoted is "ANOTHER". I didn't realize Obama is the one that deployed soldiers to Afghanistan while Bush was in office.

        As far as the 75%, Bush was responsible for almost 95% of the deaths in Iraq. Just over 1600 soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2009, as opposed to the over 4,000 who died in Iraq between 2003-2009. Neither are acceptable numbers, but like I said, "I'm glad he hasn't started another war" as in one that was not ongoing when he was elected.

        Should we have immediately pulled out the day he was inaugurated? Had McCain been elected, is that what he would have done?

        As far as waging attacks on multiple nations, I can't think of a President in recent history who did not order attacks on multiple nations during their Presidency.

        Bush had Special Operations conducting raids in Syria and Pakistan. Clinton in Iraq, Somalia. H.W. Bush Somalia, Panama. Reagan in Grenada. Big difference between attacks, raids, whatever you want to call them and an over 10 year war.

  • Bob Ryan

    Did the poll include the dead? They come out pretty strong for Democrats on voting day. Not so much the rest of the year

  • DP

    Hop'sHip-Your latest post is the VERY FIRST ONE (though I seldom give your posts more than a cursory look-at best) that makes a MODICUM of sense!!!!!

    Hopefully future posts of yours will continue to say NOTHING. If so, readers will find your opinions to be MUCH MORE CREDIBLE!!!!

    • Hop'sHip

      I should have known I couldn't fool someone like you, DP. I just read your postings from yesterday's commentary and you're right. I am paid in food stamps by George Soros to monitor activity on the internets of freedom-loving hard-working patriots like you. But I must say I've been so impressed with your musings that I'm ready to come over to your side. I've locked my cable to Fox News and have made Breitbart my home page. But please allow me to keep my Obamaphone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hop'sHip

      Well I appreciate the cursory look and want you to know that I give your postings a thorough examination because they are always so fair and thoughtful and chock full of insights. And the punctuation. Nobody punctuates better than you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DP

    Voters of the 3rd District: Isn't it time to get rid of this Obama Hack, Nicky Joe, after almost 40 years of a TOTALLY NONPRODUCTIVE tenure??? Obviously the regular Left Wing Wackos on this site disagree, but that's why they haven't the sense to vote anything but 100% Democrat.

    EIGHTY PLUS years of Democrats rule has pretty much wrecked the state of WV. WISE UP VOTERS of the 3rd District and put Nicky Joe out to pasture!!!!!

    I'm still asking: Does ANYONE know if Nicky Joe paid back the Las Vegas Casino(s) the money owed to them from many years ago? Of course he was probably on official government business (at taxpayers' expense) when he incurred these gambling debts!!!!!

    • Hop'sHip


  • Jim N Charleston


    As dumb & corrupt as Rahall's district is, he'll win by 10 pts this time. You just can't fix stupid or elections in Southern WV

    All I got
    I'm Jim N So Charleston

    • Hop'sHip

      Jim N: Maybe we can't totally fix stupid but you could help to reduce it by not calling Hoppy "Skippy". If you represent the smart & respectable, I can understand why they prefer the dumb & corrupt.

  • GobblyGook

    Rahall is toast. The same fate awaits him as the one that was delivered to FL's Alex Sink this week. D-E-F-E-A-T!!!!
    Liberalism and progressivism are DEAD!!!!
    DOA come election time.
    The same fate is waiting for Tennant too.

  • kensgirl

    Funny that WaPo tries to push that "Koch Brothers-backed" line so hard, when the amount they have contributed to campaigns PALES in comparison to what unions and George Soros have spent over the years. (The information is easy to find. Google it.) I wonder if you ever see any candidate's backing on the other side listed as "George Soros-backed" in the WaPo? My guess is probably, "No."

    • Jason412

      As far as Soros v. Koch, I googled it and found a random website,, citing the Center for Responsive Politics. According to it,

      As far as what can be easily tracked,
      Koch = $61.46 million
      Soros = $47 million

      I would say the more telling numbers would be from the Think Tanks and Political Organizations, but without them revealing their donors it's hard to tell who actually spent more.
      www. opensecrets .org/news/2010/09/opensecrets-battle---koch-brothers.html (take spaces out)

      And here's a list of the top 20 contributors to WV in 2012.

      www. followthemoney .org/database/state_overview.phtml?s=WV&y=2012 (take spaces out)

      I'm not trying to make a point one way or the other, just was interested in seeing the numbers for my self and figured I would share the links.

      Kensgirl, it would be helpful if you provided the information your basing your comment on. But as far as I can see one organization spending 1.4 million on a single candidate is rare if not unprecedented in WV. If anyone has any information to the contrary, please share it.

      • The bookman

        Just a side note. Opensecrets receives funding from open society who is funded by George Soros. These guys are everywhere.

        • Hop'sHip

          Bookman: Koch brothers are heavily into fossill fuels so the suspicion is that they use their money to promote policy favorable to that segment of the economy, fair or not. What is the right's belief on how Soros uses his money to advance his financial interest? I used their donor inquiry to look up George Soros activity on the OpenSecrets site. I think this is a great service. Are you telling me I should be distrustful of the results?

          • Hop'sHip

            You're right. Like Kensgirl would say "just Google it". I could probably easily find what he says his agenda is. He will probably say open and fair government that serves ALL the people. But I suspect some that hang here detect a more sinister purpose. Do you think I should ask DP? He seems to have strong opinions and they are always well-punctuated!!!!!

          • The bookman

            Did you strong arm kids in school to do your homework, Hops? You're a smart guy. Do your own homework.

          • Hop'sHip

            Well that's no help. Anyone else out there who can tell me what the Soros agenda is?

          • The bookman


            I don't care what his agenda is. But his support of the political left leads me to believe that we are not like minded. I'm not a conspiracy minded person. Soros has a ton of money, and that buys power and influence. Is that news? Nope, it's not even new.

          • Hop'sHip

            What is his agenda? All I know is that he is a equity fund guy and I see references to him being a communist. You don't see many communist equity fund managers. But then some of those same references are calling the Pope a communist.

          • The bookman

            Not at all. I've sourced information there and have found it useful and reliable. Just pointing out the fact that Soros funds at least in part the site. I would expect Soros uses his wealth like the Koch brothers do, to gain influence and forward an agenda. That's ok with me.

        • Retired Teacher

          It goes without saying that working class isn't represented by either party on the national level---all democrats and republicans are "purchased" by one special interest or the other prior to any election

          • The bookman

            Wow, how sad?

    • Hop'sHip

      Please don't tell us to "Google it". Give us a reference for your claim. Otherwise I can only conclude it is bogus.

  • jay zoom

    what ever the outcome is meant to be. GET OUT AND VOTE WEST VIRGINIA. this state has a low voter turn out and that's a disgrace. I'm a poll worker in the northern part of the state and I know. my precinct 392 eligible voters and the max since 2005 - 51 in 2008 and a grand total of 19 in 2010 then all you hear is the cry babies after the election is over if a certain candidate is elected.

    • Aaron

      They vote differently in southern WV Jay.

      Dads voted straight Democrat for 30 years since 1980, which varied from his issue/candidate voting record he adheres to right up his death in 1979.

  • Aaron

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Nick Joe wins a not a close as many would think race by the same margin Capito defeats Tennant, 7%.

    • Retired Teacher

      I agree that Rahall will win, but think that Tennant and Capito will be much closer, and Tennant might pull it out---remember Tennant doesn't have a record to stand on or defend.

      • Aaron

        Other than supporting Obamacare, right?

        • Retired Teacher

          I didn't know that she had taken an official stand, and I don't pretend to be an expert on the internet. I see on her website, that she only supports some small portions of it and wants to modify the rest.

          • Aaron

            She made some public statements a few years back. I'm sure we will see them come August, September and October.