CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. House seat Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) has held since 1977 is now considered one of the most “vulnerable” in the country during the November general election.

“In the past, Rahall boasted one of the best local brands in politics, effectively keeping enough distance between himself and a national party that’s increasingly unpopular in West Virginia,” according to a Tuesday article in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

But Shira Center, who contributed to that Roll Call report, said times are changing and so is the political climate in West Virginia, especially in Rahall’s 3rd District.  “So many of the blue dog Democrats that represented the South for years and years and years, they’re all gone now.  There are very few left, in any, in the southern states,” she said.

In the report, Roll Call said the following:  “Every name on this list has a 50 percent chance, or more, of not returning to Congress next year.  To compose this regular feature, Roll Call’s Politics Team examines every aspect of a member’s re-election prospects: district composition, campaign operation, fundraising, quality of opponent and recent performance.”

Last November, Rahall was not on the list.  But, Center said, the race between Rahall and Sen. Evan Jenkins (R-Cabell, 5), both the likely nominees, is now considered a tossup.  “It’s so clear to us that he (Rahall) is, without a doubt, one of the most vulnerable members up for reelection in 2014,” she said.

In 2012, during his last reelection campaign, Rahall won by 12 points, even though Mitt Romney beat President Barack Obama, who was at the top of the Democratic ticket, by 32 points in the 3rd District.

This time, Roll Call notes Rahall is putting up a “fierce” fight against Jenkins who is getting financial support from national Republican organizations.  “If Rahall loses in the 3rd District, it will say more about the political climate in West Virginia than about his political acumen,” said the Roll Call report.

“‘The Rahall brand’ in itself, as long as there isn’t a ‘D’ next to it, is still very strong, very powerful in the District.  So, if he can really rely on that, then that is how he wins,” Center said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

In addition to Rahall, the other U.S. House members Roll Call considers “vulnerable” are Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Michael Honda (D-Calif.), Ralph Hall (R-Tx.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

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  • cutty77

    I don't like Nick,but i don't think he can be beat either.

  • Richard

    The problem with Rahall is he thinks he is smarter and knows what is best for the people of WV and will not hear and work for the true concerns of the people of WV that is why he is in trouble. It is time for a change in WV we are tired of being the last and we should be in first place. The democrat party has been the problem.

  • The Answer

    FYI, Ryan T. my brother and 13 men who worked under him were let go today.
    The company they worked for has no intentions of putting Obummer Care ineffect.
    They all had over 20 years each with this company.
    So know what you say before you make a total a** of yourself.

    • Andy

      Really? What company? Surely there was a press release.

  • Joe

    Rahall using Cecil Roberts on TV is a big mistake. Everyone remembers Roberts supporting Obama and saying that Obama was not out to get coal. West Virginians are smart enough to see right through both Roberts and Rahall. Neither care about the working men and women of this state, they are both looking out for themselves and the Obama administrations. West Virginia, it's time for a change in the 3rd Congressional District and UMWA, it's time for a change at the top of your union. Look where the coal industry is today and these two men have been in powerful positions for many years. What have they done to save, support or promote West Virginia coal? The answer is nothing! They have both supported and endorsed Obama's war on coal. Any miner or anyone who makes a living from the mining industry who votes for Rahall, is signing their own pink slip.

  • RHytonen

    "..a national (-D) party that’s increasingly unpopular in West Virginia,”

    Not in the north central or even Charleston areas.

    Due to real world (as opposed to expensively advertised) esperience of the horros of fracking's toxic industrialization, everyone I know has had their opinion of, certainly ALL Republicans, and even DINO ("Democrat") bought and owned gas/oil/coal shills; severely altered.

    The Mountain Party is actually becoming the only reliable alternative to the corporate privatization of America, and especially WV.

  • Jim

    I have one thing to say. Term Limits.

    • Andy

      Agreed. But politicians will never vote for their own demise.

  • not my daddy's union

    Given the fact that the UMWA endorsed an openly gay candidate and environmentalist, in the WV House of Delegates race (42nd) doesn't really give them much credibility, now, does it? Cecil Roberts will not be of much help to Congressman Rahall. UMWA also supports President Obama and the union doesn't reflect the values of the everyday working man like they used to.

    • Stephen

      So, the working man is a gay hating bigot now?

  • John of Wayne

    I think Richard Ojeda will truly be his own man and is the obvious choice for those dissatisfied with Nick Rahal but have an inherent distrust in a political changeling. I implore the electorate to vote for Ojeda.

  • Jay

    The one hope for West Virginia is for voters to become more independent and voting for the person and not a party. Too long the same people get elected and entrenched into a political party that doesn't represent Mountaineers values. Rahall always seemed to be one of those entrenched persons.

  • grey4449

    RAHALL voted to lower carbon emissions. That is killing coal mining jobs. He voted for Obamacare. That has cost people their insurance and jobs. People we need a change Rahall has forgotten W.V. Hes just a rubber stamp for OBAMA...................VOTE JENKINS FOR JOBS, FOR COAL, FOR WEST VIRGINIA.

    • Ryan T

      Do you know anyone that has lost their job because of Obama Care? No, I doubt it. I know a lot of people that know are covered for preexisting conditions, even if there employer changes insurance company's or get a better job. Children now can stay on their parents health insurance until age 26. Birth control and pre screenings are now covered. This is a good deal. If it is repealed all of these great current covered items will disappear. I am a Republican, but This will be a losing issue for them as they are on the wrong side. Once all of the miss information is cleared up, this will be a clear winner for Democrats. Please everyone do your own research and not just repeat rumors from your well educated friends......

      • grey4449

        Yes I KNOW A FEW HUNDRED THAT LOST THEIR JOBS AND ONE WAS MY SON. The cost of Obamacare is higher and people have lost their doctors. You better go do your homework before you write anything.

      • Aaron

        "Once all of the miss information is cleared up, this will be a clear winner for Democrats."

        And then the bills will start rolling in.

        What then?

        • Steve

          Since the a Democrats have been in control , our State has ranked last or next to every good's time for a change."....

          • Andy

            True statement. However..if you know anything about political science, socioeconomics, or any related subject you'd also know the state's problems go far beyond a 'D' next to someone's name in the state house or on Capitol Hill.

      • WVU & Oliver Fan

        Ryan T, I am calling you out! You are a democrat my friend. All you did was spill out Democrats talking points that are a bunch of crap. Obama Care cost people full time jobs and puts them on part time jobs where they will be dependent upon government for help. Republicans want people to depend upon themselves to make a living and not one dependent upon the government. Democrats want you to be dependent upon the government. Those people are there voting block. Have you noticed that their policies never have a resolution for the problem? Their resolution is the government is the answer?

        When did a 26 year old become a child? Why are they not working and paying for their own health care? When did health coverage not include pre-screenings and birth control? The answer is if you work for a religious organization that does not believe in birth control. Those people don’t want birth control so why make them pay for it. When did forcing people to buy something they don’t want become freedom? The only point you may have is the preexisting conditions and we don’t need a trillion dollar bill that takes freedom away to fix that issue. That can be resolved with a bipartisan bill that would not be a trillion dollar train wreck. So please stop lying to people. You are a democrat and you should be willing to admit that you are a card caring left wing liberal who wants to force people to be dependent upon the government.

      • fed up

        Most people at age 26 should be working having their own insurance-staying on mom and dad's insurance is only an excuse not to find a job. Most companies when they change insurance plans will not deny insurance due to pre-existing conditions. I am pretty well educated and I know for a fact that most of the folks I know lost their insurance plan and was forced to purchase a policy that had higher premiums, higher deductible, and higher out of pocket expenses. I am not repeating rumors, I am stating facts.. My husband's company will not be providing us with insurance next year, one of the ways that ACA is hurting the working folks.

        • Andy

          ACA is not hurting working folks, business are hurting working folks. They raise rates and don't offer insurance/protections they should be offering becuase it marginally impacts their bottom line. That is unacceptable. It is the same reason for their opposition to wage increases for the lowest earners.