WV-02 emerges as top-tier 2008 pick-up opportuntiy

There has been a flurry of developments in WV-02 during the last two weeks. All of them point to one conclusion: State Sen. John Unger's challenge of vulnerable incumbent Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is a top-tier pick-up opportunity for the Democratic Party in 2008.

Unger--recruited by both netroots and the DCCC--has emerged as an early, well-positioned challenger to Capito. The major recent developments include:

* Potential challenger Anne Barth (W.Va. State Director for Sen. Robert Byrd) ended speculation and stated she is not running. This clears the path for a single strong Democratic Party nominee--it's all but certain now that Unger will face no significant Democratic primary opposition.

DC fund-raiser - Rahall Unger Mollohan Davis

* Unger held a successful fund-raising event in Washington, D.C. hosted by a Who's Who of W.Va. and DCCC Reps. The event was officially hosted by our two W.Va. Dem. Reps. Mollohan (WV-01) and Rahall (WV-03), along with DCCC Chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen and DCCC Recruitment Chair Rep. Artur Davis.

Capito DCCC

* As part of their July 4th week campaign hitting vulnerable Republicans, the DCCC announced a series of radio commercials targeting Rep. Capito's poor record of supporting veterans. This level of support from the DCCC is highly significant--this is a strong signal that WV-02 is a key target for 2008. (James L. has more details here.)

* Not long after the DCCC announcement, Pres. Bush announced he was visiting John Unger's hometown, Martinsburg, W.Va. on July 4. Providing a safe harbor to her good friend Rep. Shelley Moore Capito greeted Bush with open arms at his time of need. Bush held a private, closed door morning speech with National Guard members and their families.

John Unger We Can Do Better

* Wasting no time after getting setup on ActBlue, Unger sent out his first email fund-raising appeal. Using Pres. Bush's visit to show how out of touch Capito is with West Virginia values in "Bush and Capito Stick Together!", Unger called for bringing our soldiers home from Iraq.

This is shaping up to be an exciting race. John Unger is a good fit for this district. He is similar to Rep. Rahall in that he's more socially conservative (just like this district) than a typical member of the Progressive Netroots, but he is also adamant about issues of social and economic justice--and, that includes getting Out of Iraq.

It's not too early to start turning Red to Blue. Please help me wake up after Election Day 2008 with a Democratic representative! Contribute to John Unger for Congress at the West Virginia Blue Act Blue page.

Written by Clem G., a W.Va. volunteer Netroots activist. Cross-posted at West Virginia Blue, the home of WV-02 coverage.

Tags: dccc, George Bush, John Unger, shelley moore capito, WV-02 (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

2008 pick-up opportuntiy

A couple of things worth noting.  
In 2004 Capito won 57%-41%.  
In 2006 Capito won 57%-42%.  
In 2006 Capito outspent her opponent Mike Callaghan 2,349,741$ to $626,376.  

If you had me outspend an opponent by 1,723,365$ I'm pretty sure I could win.  

Since Gore lost West Virginia, it wasn't on Kerry's battlefield so I can't imagine he had much time and money invested in West Virginia.  Bush won this district 57%-42%.  

This district is entirely winnable.  We just have to even out the battlefield financially.  Having a real candidate is the first step here.  Let's take it.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-07-07 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 pick-up opportuntiy

Well said. Unger won his senate seat in 2006 with 65 percent of the vote in very Republican Berkeley County and 67 percent of the vote in red but not quite as red Jefferson County.

His district only includes portions of both those counties but he received more votes in 2006 against a Don Blankenship funded Republican candidate than Capito did and her district includes all of the two counties.

Unger is able to reach out to the independents and Republicans who normally wouldn't even consider voting for a Democrat.

IIRC, the only candidate in any race in any county to receive more votes in their county than Senator Byrd did in the Senate race was Unger in his '06 win.

I blogged about him for years since he's my state senator and after Mike Callaghan lost so badly in 2006 I began a Draft Unger movement. (Admittedly I tried to get Christy Hardin Smith of Fire Dog Lake to run first but she would have moved (I think one county over) and give up time with her children and she quite graciously declined. It's not always that the netroots and the DCCC to be on the same page and I'm happy that this time we are because I think this is a race that can be run.

by Carnacki 2007-07-07 08:22PM | 0 recs

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