IN once solidly Democratic West Virginia, President Barack Obama bombed on Tuesday, losing all of the state's 55 counties in his bid for re-election.
A Republican, Patrick Morrisey, beat longtime Democratic state Attorney General Darrell McGraw. Republicans picked up 11 seats in the House of Delegates.
But former Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin locked in a six-year term in the U.S. Senate, and Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin beat his Republican opponent by a larger margin than in their previous contest.
What's going on here?
As Daily Mail Capitol Reporter Ry Rivard put it: "Is there a fundamental change in the state's power structure? Or are Republican gains during the Obama years just a fluke?"
Perhaps it's a shortening of the string - a little tug of warning from voters to a long-quite-comfortable political class that it has become too comfortable and needs to produce results for West Virginians themselves.
After all, the Democratic Party has controlled most top offices in West Virginia, with occasional breaks, for many decades. Congressmen begat sons who became congressmen, and at least one state official begat a son who grew up to hold the same office.
Democrats, assiduously shaping policy to serve their political allies, have controlled both houses of the Legislature since 1930. The officeholders have done well. The allies have done well.
West Virginians, after 80 years, have not.