Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Ratings Change: West Virginia’s 3rd District

Rahall is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rahall is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., has been elected and re-elected to Congress 19 times to his southern West Virginia seat.

But this November could be different, and his political future is very much in doubt.

In 2012, the congressman outspent Republican Rick Snuffer $1.7 million to $596,000 en route to an eight-point victory. This cycle, GOP-friendly outside groups have already spent approximately $1.5 million in negative television ads against Rahall and another $400,000 on direct mail. And Republicans have a much better candidate in party-switching state Sen. Evan Jenkins.

Rahall has never been in a race like this before. He’s been under a barrage of attacks, with more to come, and he’ll have to show a level of campaign agility that he has never needed. Democrats can complain about outside spending, but that doesn’t negate the impact of the ads.

It remains to be seen how Jenkins will react when Democrats turn up the heat on him, but he has the advantage of being a Republican running in an anti-Obama district in the midterm of an unpopular Democratic president.

We are changing our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race to Pure Toss-Up from Leans Democrat.

Read the full analysis of the race in the March 28 edition of The Rothenberg Political Report ($).

  • David Lumin

    As a member of the voting community in West Virginia, and in Rahall’s district, I can honestly say, it is time for this man to go.

    He does not represent the working class of West Virginia. He represents the elitist group of Washington. In many issues, I have written his office and gotten back carefully laid out responses to my inquiries and the attitude of, “Don’t worry child, Daddy has got your best interest at heart.”

    He ignores the will of the people he serves, unless it is an advantage to him politically.

    I personally hope that Evan Jenkins unseats this petty tyrant and gives him a retirement. I’ll also be glad when its time for Manchin to be re-elected and we can get Obamalite out of office. Manchin is a traitor to the people of West Virginia, who voted him in.

    • gunnyjeep

      What kills us in WV is the liberal voting blocks of Morgantown, Charleston and Huntington, the flip side tho is that there are less proclaiming to be democrats since the war on coal, I am not in Rahall’s district but am voting for Capito this Nov

  • Igor Shafarevich

    Liberty and free markets enable merchants, producers, and consumers to gather and use more knowledge than they themselves could ever know.

  • aleigh97

    Please, please, please make this happen.

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