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West Virginia Senate - Capito vs. Tennant

Candidates

Shelley Moore Capito

Shelley Moore Capito (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Natalie Tennant

Natalie Tennant (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

West Virginia Snapshot

RCP Average:
RCP Ranking: Likely GOP
2014 Key Races: WV-1WV-2 | WV-3

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2012President | Governor | SenateWV-3
2010: Senate | WV-1 | WV-3
2008: President | Governor | Senate
2006: Senate | WV-1
2004: President | Governor

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoECapito (R)Tennant (D)Spread
Final Results------62.134.5Capito +27.6
RCP Average8/15 - 10/23----53.336.7Capito +16.6
CBS News/NYT/YouGov10/16 - 10/23877 LV5.05634Capito +22
Rasmussen Reports9/30 - 10/1750 LV4.05039Capito +11
The West Virginia Poll8/15 - 8/23401 LV4.95437Capito +17

All West Virginia Senate - Capito vs. Tennant Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
West Virginia Senate - Capito vs. Tennant
53.3Capito (R)+16.6
36.7Tennant (D)
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Race Analysis

9/29/14 -- West Virginia voted for Michael Dukakis, but it seems poised to send a Republican to the Senate, over a credible Democratic nominee, by a huge margin.

----------Race Preview----------

Like Kentucky, West Virginia is technically part of the 13 original colonies by way of its initial attachment to Virginia. Unlike Kentucky, though, which was separated from Virginia after the first Congress, it took West Virginia until 1863 to achieve independent status. When the Civil War arrived, West Virginians no longer needed the consent of the mother state to break off, and so 55 counties formed the state of Kanawha -- named after the Kanawha River. A month later it was renamed West Virginia and was subsequently admitted to the Union.

The state initially leaned toward the Republican Party, but during the 1920s, the arrival of the United Mine Workers caused a re-alignment, which was accelerated by the Great Depression. Since then, it has almost exclusively elected Democrats to the Senate and Congress, although it has moved toward the GOP at the presidential level.

Republicans have come close to winning a Senate seat in West Virginia only twice in the past half-century: in 1978, when Gov. Arch Moore nearly defeated Sen. Jennings Randolph, and in 1984 when John Raese lost to Gov. Jay Rockefeller by four points. Rockefeller was always more liberal than your typical West Virginia Democrat – he actually lost a gubernatorial race in 1972 against Moore – and the president’s unpopularity made him an iffy bet for re-election in 2014. He opted to retire, and Republicans have turned to Moore’s daughter, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, as their 2014 standard-bearer. Democrats have fielded a credible candidate in Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, but it remains to be seen whether she can close the double-digit polling gap that has opened up.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoECapito (R)Tennant (D)Spread
Final Results------62.134.5Capito +27.6
RCP Average8/15 - 10/23----53.336.7Capito +16.6
CBS News/NYT/YouGov10/16 - 10/23877 LV5.05634Capito +22
Rasmussen Reports9/30 - 10/1750 LV4.05039Capito +11
CBS News/NYT/YouGov9/20 - 10/11066 LV4.05633Capito +23
CBS News/NYT/YouGov8/18 - 9/21284 LV4.05532Capito +23
The West Virginia Poll8/15 - 8/23401 LV4.95437Capito +17
Rasmussen Reports8/19 - 8/20750 LV4.05033Capito +17
CBS News/NYT/YouGov7/5 - 7/24LV2.75143Capito +8
The West Virginia Poll5/19 - 5/22400 LV4.94938Capito +11
Rasmussen Reports5/14 - 5/15750 LV4.04839Capito +9
Rasmussen Reports2/19 - 2/20500 LV4.54935Capito +14
PPP (D)9/19 - 9/221110 RV2.95036Capito +14
The West Virginia Poll8/15 - 8/22400 A4.94540Capito +5