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W. Va. Primary 2010 -- a Post-Mortem

May 16, 2010 - Joselyn King

Just some random observations about this week's primary election in  West Virginia:

I'm not so sure this 2010 election really is about the issues of jobs, health care, coal and energy and wars in the Middle East. From what I'm hearing from people, races this year might just come down to which candidates have the most "people skills."

Voters want personal recognition from their elected officials -- and they want to meet, see and speak with candidates one-on-one.   The candidates who made face-to-face contact with the electorate were largely successful with their campaigns on Tuesday.

Those who might have knocked on more doors, but didn't (and you know who they are) -- might now have found themselves on the November ballot had they done so

And just why did U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., lose the Democratic nomination toward his re-election? See above.

I don't  think Mollohan got out and personally pressed the flesh. It's even been suggested that after years of having no poltical opposition, he forgot how to campaign.

Back home in West Virginia , the constituency is becoming more conservative. Voters here largely voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, still Mollohan spent a considerable amount of advertising in the last days of the election\ hitting his Democrat opponent for being "conservative."

It's always been a common primary campaign practice for candidates to appeal to their party's most extreme convictions and electorate. But not this year, and not in West Virginia. It seems to me Mollohan was just successfully introducing Mike Oliverio to voters who otherwise didn't know him.

Mollohan might have been aware of this had he spoken with average constituents more, and attended public campaign forums.

Orphy Klempa tells me he lost 15 lbs. while on the primary campaign trail, and I always thought candidates packed on the weight while seeking votes. "Not if you're working it enough," Klempa said.

Yes, Klempa won his race.


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