Trump is returning to campaign roots with rally in Indiana

Donald J. Trump on Twitter:

Convicted coal magnate Don Blankenship's surprise third-place finish in Tuesday's West Virginia GOP Senate primary sidestepped yet another debacle for the party after consecutive meltdowns in special elections in Alabama and Pennsylvania. In West Virginia, both parties saw a surge in turnout compared to their 2014 primaries, but Democrats - still a majority of registered voters, though that's shrinking - outvoted Republicans. They are part of a GOP firewall of 10 states Trump won and a Democratic senator is defending. Conservative-backed state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was nominated to challenge Manchin.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who was uncontested in Tuesday's primary, pooh-poohed that idea Wednesday, saying that there weren't many TV ads and "back and forth attacks to get people going" on the Democratic side.

It's been an unrelenting torrent of negative news for Republicans trying to hold on to their House majority this fall: President Trump's low approval ratings, a slew of retirements in competitive seats and the crushing weight of history that suggests they are headed for major losses in November. It is clear that in these blue-leaning states, Republicans realize that their only chance is to ally themselves with the president hated by the leaders of their party in Washington and to emulate him both in style and - to the limited extent to which this is possible - substance.

Republicans have outnumbered Democrats in OH primary elections going back to 2006.

Republicans fought a nasty primary for the right to take him on.

"We wanted to be scrupulously neutral", said Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, who spent the days before the primary with the party's campaigns in Ohio. Morrisey ran an ad in which a mountain smashes the U.S. Capitol. Meanwhile, Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine defeated Kasich's lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor. After spending more than two decades in the US Army Airborne, with repeated tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ojeda became an Army recruiter based in Beckley before winning a seat in the State Senate in 2016.

OH voters also went to the polls to choose candidates in the election to succeed Republican Governor John Kasich, who is prohibited from running again by term limits. Democrat Liz Watson, a former congressional staffer, eclipsed two other candidates with 66% of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

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As he travels the country, Trump will face the question of whether his appeal is transferable to down-ballot candidates, much in the way that Obama struggled to rally core Democrats when he wasn't running himself.

But in IN, the Republican Senate nomination did land with a self-funding businessman who mocked his two main opponents - both sitting House members - as creatures of the establishment who look, vote, and even dress alike. Joe Manchin, despite the state's heavy Republican electorate. Congressman Robert Pittenger lost to Baptist pastor Mark Harris, becoming the first incumbent to lose his seat this primary season.

Among the possible options is Blankenship putting his support and money behind a person who was not a candidate in the Senate primary. This was already seen in the large vote for Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary in West Virginia, which Sanders worked to divert behind the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

In an interview with us last week, Morrisey believes that could mean Trump will campaign on Morrisey's behalf.

According to Roll Call, Renacci was brought into the race after the chosen candidate, Josh Mandel, dropped out for family reasons.

The rise of Braun and the tone of the Republican campaigns in all three states underscored the deep animosity toward Washington that has persisted in the GOP even after Trump's election.

Is Ohio a Trump state?

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