CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — It is one of the political bombshells of this year’s election cycle. A well-known Democrat endorsing a Republican in a close race. And its playing out right here in West Virginia.
West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin shocked many in the political world over the weekend when he endorsed Republican Congressman David McKinley. McKinney and Congressman Alex Mooney were thrown into the same district primary, when the Mountain State lost a seat in congress in the 2020 census.
Mooney has touted his endorsement from former President Trump. WOWK 13 News spoke with political analysts about the potential impact of each endorsement.
“I looked at some polling we had done back in February, and among Republicans Joe Manchin was more popular than Alex Mooney. Joe is the reason ‘Build Back Better’ did not happen,” said Tom Susman, Political Analyst.
When 13 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis asked, “Mooney is endorsed by Trump, might that help Mooney?” one analyst and former professor said:
“Oh that would be a tremendous help, because remember this state overwhelmingly voted for Trump,” said retired Professor Robert Rupp, a political analyst.
The most recent poll from North Star Opinion Research says the race is very close. McKinley had 38% support, to 33% for Mooney. A full 25% of voters said they are undecided.
One of the critical things to watch for on election night are the people who are registered as independent.
They can choose to request a Republican or Democrat ballot of they wish. Given how close the race is, that could make a difference.