W.Va. Democratic chairwoman links Election Day wipeout to Trump’s dominance here

The chief of the West Virginia Democratic Party says a big Election Night for Republicans and a near-wipeout by Democrats boiled down to one big factor: President Donald Trump.

Belinda Biafore

“I think folks came out and voted for Trump and just kept going down the line,” said Belinda Biafore, Democratic Party chairwoman.

Trump again dominated West Virginia’s balloting.

In 2016, Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton 67.9 percent to 26.2 percent.

Biafore went into the election thinking that former Vice President Joe Biden might narrow that gap. Biden didn’t by much. Unofficial results show Trump with 69 percent of West Virginia’s vote to Biden’s 30 percent.

That contributed to Republican dominance up and down West Virginia’s election.

Republican incumbents in Congress swept to big victories. Republicans picked up the one remaining executive office in Democratic hands, the Treasurer’s Office that had been held by John Perdue since 1997.

And Republicans racked up supermajorities in both houses of the state Legislature.

Biafore said the reaction among Democrats was a common refrain: “Can you believe what happened?”

“I believe everybody was a little shell-shocked. We all agree on one thing, that we’ve got to sit down and have a series of discussions.”

Biafore acknowledged that her own job has been the subject of discussion, an issue that she has raised herself. On MetroNews’ “Talkline” today, she she she intends to remain in her role.

“I intend to as of right now, absolutely,” she said.

On the other side, Republicans expanded on their numbers in centers of power like the House of Delegates.

Going into Election Night, the House’s 100 members included 58 Republicans, 41 Democrats and 1 independent.

Election night totals showed a new margin in the House of 76 Republicans and 24 Democrats.

Moore Capito

Delegate Moore Capito, who leads the Republican Legislative Committee that recruits and supports candidates, said the GOP message was jobs and economic development.

“We knew that 2020 was going to be a very good year, with the top of the ticket being very strong,” Capito said.

“So we wanted to leverage that. We didn’t want to let that opportunity go by.”

Now that Republicans have supermajorities and lead all the executive offices, Capito said, they’ll have to deliver with policies.

“With greater power comes greater responsibility. I think we all realize that,” he said.

He said a theme will be modernizing the state’s economy.

“I think that needs to be the focus of everything we do,” Capito said. “Every piece of legislation that comes before us, we can ask ourselves ‘How is this putting more West Virginians back to work? How is this training more West Virginians to be able to enter the workforce? How is this creating a better education environment for our children to grow and to become part of that workforce?”

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