Campaign 2010

Aug 08, 2013

Evan Jenkins Campaign Launch Makes A Thud

To:         Interested Parties
From:     DCCC Communications
Date:      August 8, 2013
Re:         Evan Jenkins Campaign Launch Makes A Thud

Evan Jenkins made his long-awaited campaign announcement in West Virginia’s third congressional district last week –and it landed with a thud. 

A second-time party switcher, Jenkins is already struggling to explain why West Virginians should trust a word he says after he abandoned his alleged principles in favor of his own spineless self-interest. In fact, independent observers note that “Rahall himself easily beat another party-switcher, former state Supreme Court justice Spike Maynard” during the Republican wave of 2010 by double digits.

Here are the top three reasons Evan Jenkins’s campaign announcement has shown that national Republicans are scraping the bottom of the barrel in West Virginia:

Evan Jenkins could face a costly and divisive primary.

  • “But [Jenkins] may not even have a free ride in the GOP primary election next spring. He could very well face opposition in the May 2014 Republican primary election from Rick Snuffer of Beckley, who has indicated he may also run again in the Republican primary for the 3rd District seat in Congress that Rahall now holds […] He told his hometown newspaper last week that ‘given the difference between Evan's legislative record and mine, plus the large lead I have in the internal polls which Washington conducted between the two of us in a primary contest, our team is confident we can be more than competitive.’” [Herald-Dispatch, 8/4/13]
  • “Snuffer let fly a strong hint that if he did file for the primary, Jenkins’ voting record as a state senator contrasts sharply with the conservative Republicans and it would come into play.” [Register-Herald Reporter, 8/5/13]

Evan Jenkins contributed to Congressman Rahall’s campaign – in 2010, after healthcare reform passed.

  • “Jenkins may also have trouble drawing contrast with Rahall as he moves to distance himself from his former party […] Jenkins will have to answer for the contribution he made to Rahall's campaign in 2010, long after the Affordable Care Act passed.” [National Journal, 7/31/13]

Evan Jenkins wasn’t the NRCC’s first choice – because bona fide West Virginia Republicans wouldn’t join the race.

  • “…Cole was the party's presumed leading candidate. The National Republican Congressional Committee made at least one trip to southern West Virginia to try and woo the freshman senator into facing off against Rahall.” [Charleston Daily Mail, 6/12/13]
  • “Cole’s decision is a blow for Republicans, who had been recruiting Cole since April.” [Roll Call, 6/12/13]
  • Headline: “Republicans Lose Top Recruit for Rahall's Seat” [National Journal, 6/12/13]