WASHINGTON, D.C. — With several months remaining before the 2014 General Election, political analysts with the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics say this year looks to be the year West Virginia elects its first Republican U.S. Senator since the 1950s.

On Thursday, the race between Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va, 2) and Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant was moved from “Leans Republican” to “Likely Republican” on “Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball,” a political forecast issued by the Center.

“There’s not really any single event that prompted this.  It’s just that, over time, we’ve just been observing this race and we just have an increased confidence that Capito is the favorite here,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of “Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball.”

The predictions, for races across the United States, are reached by analyzing polling, electoral history, candidate quality and other information from additional sources.  Kondik said, taking into account all of those factors, they’re calling for the West Virginia seat U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) currently holds to go to Capito — the Republican in the race.

“I just get the sense that the Senate’s probably going to come down to Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Iowa, Alaska and I think that West Virginia is, sort of, increasingly being looked at as a race that you could just sort of put in the Republican column and say, ‘Oh, this is probably going to be a pickup for Republicans,'” Kondik said.

Republicans need six seats to gain control of the U.S. Senate.

Jennifer Donohue, spokesperson for Natalie Tennant’s campaign, disagreed with Kondik’s analysis.

“Natalie turned out 30,000 more voters in the primary than Congresswoman Capito because West Virginia voters are tired of Congresswoman Capito working for herself and her Wall Street friends at their expense,” Donohue said in a statement.

“They are ready for a leader like Natalie with a proven track record of working for West Virginia families.  It’s those West Virginia voters, not Washington pundits or Wall Street dollars, that will decide this race.”

Tennant is getting some help.

The Washington Post reported the Senate Majority PAC was scheduled to begin broadcasting more than $200,000 in television ads attacking Capito in Clarksburg, Charleston and Beckley on Friday.  The Senate Majority PAC, run by former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee officials, has spent more than $25 million on races nationally this year.

Up to this point, the heaviest spending has been in Alaska, Louisiana, North Carolina and Arkansas.

In West Virginia, Martin Staunton, a former television anchor, is running for the U.S. Senate as an independent.  The Libertarian candidate is John Buckley, a former Virginia delegate.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

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  • C. F. T.

    “Natalie turned out 30,000 more voters in the primary (Natalie caused those 30,000 to turn out all by her little old self, no more like more Dem.'s voted in the primary than Repub.) than Congresswoman Capito because West Virginia voters are tired of Congresswoman Capito (what honest spokesperson Natalie has to try to correlate Dem. Voter turnout and tired of Capito) working for herself and her Wall Street friends at their expense,(power of suggestion, like "when was the last time Natalie beat Eric and sent him to the hospital") Donohue said in a statement. Donohue gets this weeks award for the most dishonest and deceitful political hack.
    $200,000 is .008 of 1% of the Dem. budget, whoopsie do Natalie.

  • Mountain Navy

    One question I have for Donohue what Wall Street friends please name me one?

    • Jason412

      Mountain Navy,

      CitiGroup is her second biggest campaign contributor.

      Here are top contributors for both

      Said it before, it'll be hard for me to vote for either of the two.

      • Aaron

        They are also in President Obama's top 10.

        • Jason412


          That was true in 2008, not in 2012 and doesn't change the fact in 2014 they are still SMC's second biggest contributor.

          • Jason412

            Mountain Navy,

            If you're interested, here is a more in depth article explaining Capito's Wall Street ties


          • Jason412


            No, I'm not surprised in the least that they cut contributions. I'm also not surprised SMC has received a much lesser sum of money from Citigroup than Obama did in 08, being that a Presidential election always has far more money involved than a WV Senate race.

            The point of my original post was not to paint SMC as some Wall Street crony, at least not more than I would any other politician, I just wanted to clarify for Mountain Navy that she, like most politicians, has Wall Street "friends".

          • Aaron

            Given the treatment of Wall Street after the President was elected, are you surprised that they cut their donations by 75% from 08 to 12. That doesn't change the fact that Citigroup donated millions to Obama but have given less than a 10th of that to Capito.

        • Silas Lynch

          Yes, Natalie is running on being "anti-Wall Street" while through voo-doo economics and government manipulation American's 401's have remained prosperous and the only thing that has kept folks with pitch forks from descending upon the WH and evicting Obama.

          So, Natalie is running on a platform to ruin my retirement fund?---

  • Mountain Navy

    A waste of money. Everyone knows a vote for Tennant is a vote for Obama. Simple as that. Obama has a 20 percent approval rating in WV. Not good for any democrat. Sorry but this is a lost cause for Tennant. I think that they are desperate to hold on to any seat because there is a real possibility of losing the senate.

  • Butch

    So per Capito (and a lot of ignorant people on here) she has it in the bag but we all know they would not be putting money in West Virginia unless the numbers were tightening up.

    Folks, things are 'bout to get interesting.

    • Mitch

      @ Butch,

      Keep whistling past that graveyard.

    • Justin

      More like getting out of hand for the liberals.

  • george

    if the people of WV can stand another 4 years of Obama puppets than vote for natalie. I cannot see where she has a running chance. Fed up with these Democrats.......Tired of our State being ranked 49 and 50th in every good pole taken. Time for a change..

    • Tracyo64

      I agree. Tired of our state being run by corporate hos.

  • David

    It's ok for democrats to bring in tons of money from out of state or hell for that matter they get it from foreigners....
    Usually Americas enemies but demoncraps just don't care.

  • David

    Jennifer Donahue you make me want to throw up!

  • David

    Tennant hasn't proven anything except that she is a political shyster and couldn't make it in the private sector so she has to live off her 15 minutes of fame as a mascot.

    She did absolutely nothing as secratary of state except work for the Democratic Party

    She is an Obama zombie!

  • Drama Queen Conservative Troll

    Arch Moore it's good to have you back!

  • sammy

    I wouldn't vote for Natalie for dog catcher. No offense to dog catchers.

    She has done absolutely nothing to improve the election process during her tenure as SOS. Municipal elections are a joke.

    • Mitch

      @ sammy,

      Just fill in the blank. NatalieTennant has done NOTHING to _________. It doesn't matter what the subject is.

    • richard

      And Capito has done exactly what? Please list for me the things she has done while in Washington. List one thing, just one. You can't because she has done NOTHING! That is exactly why you never hear her name on any national news of any kind. But she is always the first in line for the State of the Union so she can be seen shaking hands with the president no matter who that may be.

  • jcsmith

    20 point victory by Shelley

  • ViennaGuy

    "They are ready for a leader like Natalie with a proven track record of working for West Virginia families."

    Uh, can someone please tell me what she's done for West Virginia families?



    • MTNR

      Has Shelley ever written a piece of legislation that became law? What has she done in 14 years in Washington other than get rich?



      • ViennaGuy

        I'm glad you asked.

        Actually, yes, she has sponsored 81 bills which have become law. Here's a link to them:


        • MTNR

          I said WRITTEN, not sponsored!

          It is easy to glom on to someone else's work without doing ANY of your own.

          Fact is, Shelley has written exactly ZERO bills that have become law to help people in this state.

          Shelley has done NOTHING except get rich in Washington.

        • richard

          What were they? Can you name one?

          • ViennaGuy

            richard, read what's at the link. I'm not going to spoon-feed you.

        • gus

          This link shows the bills Ms. Capito cosponsored... Has she ever been the lead sponsor of a bill that has become law?

          • ViennaGuy

            The link shows all of the bills that she sponsored AND cosponsored that became law. Note this from the page:

            "Legislation Sponsored or Cosponsored by Shelley Moore Capito"

            and note the tracker for each bill - each tracker says it became law.

      • Aaron

        Since we have 2 ineffective politicians, the vote should be based on which will do the most good for WV and America.

        Given the fanatical liberal tilt of the current administration, neither politician will likely be beneficial for WV this what is best for America is the next guideline.

        Again, given the fanatical liberal tilt of Democrats, clearly a Republican Senate is best for America, thus ALL WV'ians should vote for Capito.

        Can I get a yeesh!!!

    • Aaron

      My favorite was in touring the number of voters as if Mrs. Wells will maintain that advantage in November.

      • Aaron

        Touting, not touring

  • Jim N Charleston

    Natalie needs to bring in Obama, Reid, & Pelosi to stump for her.

    Elizabeth Warren had to give her race a 5 pt bump. The direction I guess didn't matter to her campaign. They're just so intelligent and in touch with the State of WV.

    All I got
    I'm Jim N So Charleston

  • cutty77

    Shelly is unbeatable in WV,period.

  • Aaron

    7 point Capito win. You heard it here first!!!