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How did West Virginia become red? Political experts party swing largest to date


Coming out of *right* field for the Mountain State, Political advisors are baffled with the continued endorsement for Republican candidates that only has happened in the recent couple decades.

WHEELING W.Va. – With the way it’s trending, West Virginia will be giving President Trump a ‘yes’ vote for a second term.

As people flood to the polls for maybe the biggest race of the 2000s, West Virginia’s voice is changing keys fast. 

Ronald Reagan started out his career as a democrat and then obviously switched to the Republican Party. He didn’t leave the Democratic Party… The Democratic Party left him! And, I think for many West Virginians that feeling is very much the same.

Dr. Kevin Spiker, Political Science OUE

At the turn of the century, West Virginia too had turned – Blue to Red.  George Bush with 52% of the vote, in 2008 John McCain with 56%, Mitt Romney with 62% And then in 2016; Donald Trump went on to win West Virginia with 69% of the vote. 

He carried every single county in the State of West Virginia. Something that 30 or 40 years ago would be unthinkable.

Dr. Kevin Spiker, Political Science OUE

But why the sudden turn? Industrializing the Mountain State’s mountains might be the biggest red ticket. West Virginia likes its coal. 

The wider acceptance and embracing of environmentalist policies by the Democratic Party. That along with abortion, gun control, have led West Virginians to question… And what has resulted is one of the largest party swings in any state in modern American History.

Dr. Kevin Spiker, Political Science OUE

The State Legislature is Republican-controlled, but this Red endorsement is so new that it’s only now trickling down to local politicians. Since the Great Depression there have only been two Republican Governors in the Mountain State; Arch Moore and Cecil Underwood. With the exception of Governor Jim Justice who was elected as a Democrat and then switched.

Intuitively I would expect Justice to win but not by the margin Trump is likely to win in West Virginia.

Dr. Kevin Spiker, Political Science OUE

West Virginia sits between two battleground states where both former Vice President Biden and President Trump have frequented this week. But no one’s really visited the Mountain State these days.

“I would expect a fairly comfortable Trump victory on Tuesday,” said Dr. Spiker.

But how many voters will link the two: Saying yes to Trump and Justice – The professor explained that will be the most interesting part of this race in West Virginia. 

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