The Left Needs Some Money

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Tuesday night saw primary elections in four different states. The biggest surprise was in how few surprises there were; for one night at least, the establishment wings of both parties got what they wanted.


In the most high-profile race on Tuesday night, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, defeating Rep. Evan Jenkins and relegating coal baron Don Blankenship to a distant third place.

On the Democratic side of the West Virginia Senate race, incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin won with 70 percent of the vote against progressive challenger Paula Jean Swearengin. Manchin outraised Swearengin by 30 to 1.


That Swearengin—who, in addition to the fundraising disadvantage, had never run for elected office before and was running against the most dominant figure in West Virginia politics for over a decade—cracked even 30 percent is nothing to scoff at. It’s yet another reminder, however, that building a resilient progressive infrastructure rivaling what has existed in the center and on the right for decades takes time and, above all else, money.

This is especially important because, even in West Virginia, it’s clear that things are becoming more favorable for the left, albeit slowly. First-term state senator Richard Ojeda, an old-school West Virginia labor Democrat who voted for Trump and now says he regrets it, easily won a Democratic primary to succeed Jenkins in the Third Congressional District on Tuesday night, and has built a national profile for himself after vocally supporting the teachers’ strike and spearheading West Virginia’s medical marijuana law.

While Ojeda is not a leftist by any stretch of the imagination, he’s also not a carbon copy of Manchin, and it’s an indicator that the future of the party after the 70-year old senator is up for grabs.

West Virginia wasn’t the only state with big elections on Tuesday:

News editor, Splinter

Share This Story

Get our newsletter