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A few quick observations on the election

DEMOCRATIC Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin beat Republican Bill Maloney by a more substantial margin Tuesday that in the special election last year.

Tomblin won last year by 7,500 voters, but this time by more than 31,000 votes.  

  • Maloney underperformed - or Tomblin overperformed - in several key counties: Berkeley, where he beat Tomblin by fewer than 800; and Wood, where Maloney won by just 33 votes.
  • Additionally, the Maloney camp fell below its goals in Monongalia County (Maloney's home county), and Morgan and Jefferson counties.

  • Tomblin did not win his home county of Logan by the same 12-1 margin as he did last year, but he still did quite well. Tomblin got 79 percent of the vote in Logan County. 
  • Republican Attorney General candidate Patrick Morrisey's home county of Jefferson and neighboring Berkeley County were decisive in his victory over longtime incumbent Democrat Darrell McGraw.
  • Morrisey won by about 13,000 votes, roughly his margin of victory over McGraw in those two counties.

  • One of the more surprising outcomes of the night was the fourth-place finish by Democrat Tish Chafin in the state Supreme Court race.
  • Many political observers thought Chafin, who spent heavily and campaigned hard, would win the second seat.

    Instead, Republican Allen Loughry prevailed, meaning there are now two Republicans  - Loughry and Brent Benjamin - on the five-member court.

  • The biggest political shake-up was in the House of Delegates. Seven incumbents - six Democrats and one Republican - lost.
  • The Republicans gained 11 seats in the House, narrowing the Democratic advantage to 54-46.  

  • The GOP added three seats in the Senate, but Democrats still hold a commanding 25-9 advantage. 
  • President Obama did not fare as well in West Virginia this election as he did four years ago. In 2008, Obama lost the state with 304,000 votes (43 percent).
  • Yesterday, President Obama finished with just over 230,000 votes - 36 percent.

    Obama did not win any of the state's 55 counties. The closest he came was in Jefferson, where he got 47 percent of the vote.

  • Despite reports of long lines at some polling places, turnout does not appear to have been exceedingly large.
  • About 640,000 West Virginians cast ballots, for a turnout of close to 52 percent.

    That's lower than in 2008, when 711,000 voters went to the polls for a turnout of nearly 59 percent.

    Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.


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