West Virginia GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship on Monday reacted defiantly after President Donald Trump endorsed his primary opponent, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
"I hope West Virginia voters will listen to President Trump when they go to the polls tomorrow", Morrisey said in a statement.
O'Connell, who worked on John McCain's presidential campaign, said he believes that if Blankenship loses the primary this Tuesday, the race is the Republicans' to win.
Though the two situations are not directly comparable - Moore was the incumbent and Blankenship is looking to win a primary to challenge Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin - Trump made the point that a candidate burdened by public backlash will not be as strong as a candidate whose skeletons are still in the closet.
Many on the right are concerned if Blankenship wins the primary, he'll nearly certainly lose the general election to Democratic Sen. "Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!" he added. Trump remains very popular in West Virginia, which he won by 60 percent in 2016.
But the President's son does not share that sentiment and unleashed a series of tweets on Thursday urging West Virginia Republicans to vote against Blankenship.
GOPAC: Morrisey 24 percent; Jenkins 20 percent; Blankenship 12 percent. Blankenship is a former CEO of Massey Energy who until recently was serving a yearlong sentence for a misdemeanor conviction over his involvement in the deadliest USA mine explosion in four decades.
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He has particularly targeted Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, claiming he is a "swamp captain" who has "given millions of jobs to China people". He's referring to when Republican Judge Roy Moore won the Alabama Senate primary a year ago only to eventually lose the seat to Democrat Doug Jones.
There is no response from Blankenship regarding President Trump's denouncement yet this morning. What about that time he referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chao's husband, as "Cocaine Mitch".
Blankenship's campaign argued that failing to disclose his finances was a non-issue. "No more fumbles like Alabama", he wrote on Thursday, comparing the coal baron to failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
He said a Blankenship nomination would guarantee a win for U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in November.
"This idea that calling someone a "Chinaperson" - I mean, I'm an American-person - I don't see this insinuation by the press that there is something racist about saying a 'Chinaperson, '" Blankenship said.
"Todd Rokita puts on a MAGA hat, he runs around the state, but on the tough votes...he's against President Trump", GOP Rep. Luke Messer said of his Republican House colleague Rokita in a debate last month.