|Poll||Date||Sample||McKinley (R)||Oliverio (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||50.4||49.6||McKinley +0.8|
|The Hill/Penn, Schoen & Berland (D)||10/2 - 10/7||405 LV||39||42||Oliverio +3|
|2008: Mollohan (D) (Unopposed)||2008: McCain (R) 57%, Obama (D) 42%|
|2006: Mollohan (D) 64%, Wakim (R) 36%||2004: Bush (R) 58%, Kerry (D) 41%|
|2004: Mollohan (D) 68%, Parks (D) 32%||2000: Bush (R) 54%, Gore (D) 43%|
10/29/10 -- If Governor Manchin is really in a close race, then he is almost certainly losing this district. And if the district doesn't vote for Manchin, why would it vote for Oliverio? That's the key question here.
The 1st District of West Virginia is the northern third of the state. The major cities – Morgantown, Wheeling and Parkersburg, are small cities, with about 30,000 inhabitants. Almost 1/2 of the district’s residents live in rural areas of the state. The district was once solidly Democratic, and still votes Democratic at the local level. But at the presidential level it has cast its votes for Republicans in three straight elections, including a 57 percent to 42 percent win for John McCain.
The 1st has been represented by a Mollohan for 46 of the past 58 years. Robert Mollohan represented the district from 1953 through 1956, and again from 1969 through 1982. His son, Alan, succeeded him, and represented the district from 1983 through this year. But Alan Mollohan was upset in the Democratic primary this year by state Senator Mike Oliverio, ending the career of the appropriations subcommittee chairman.
This upset probably enhanced the Democrats’ chances of holding onto the district. Mollohan had come under fire for ethics violations and voted for the Democrats’ health care bill. Oliverio, by contrast, is a very conservative Democrat who initially indicated that he might not vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. This is probably in line with most of the districts’ constituents, who are extremely conservative, but nevertheless don’t care for the Republican Party. He faces former state delegate David McKinley in the fall.