What West Virginia Swing Voters Think About Manchin’s Kavanaugh Vote (HBO)

West Virginians had been led by Democrats for decades, but they overwhelmingly backed President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. It’s that political reality that democratic Senator Joe Manchin lives in as he faces a re-election fight against West Virginia State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

In most states, Trump’s overwhelming popularity would mean a democratic senator wouldn’t have a chance, but Manchin has more than a chance. According to one of the latest polls out of the state, which was conducted before Manchin voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the senator was beating his opponent by eight points.

So what is it about West Virginian voters that allows them to walk a line between support for Trump and support for Manchin and how did Manchin’s vote for Kavanaugh affect their view of the Senator?

Frank Luntz, a veteran Republican pollster, convened a group of 12 swing voters in West Virginia to try to answer that question. People who were chosen to participate either had to have voted for both republican and democratic presidential candidates in the last three elections or if they’ve only voted Republican in presidential elections, needed to have expressed support for Manchin himself. The focus group was conducted on the evening of October 5th, after Manchin had announced he would be supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Some saw his vote for Kavanaugh as a nakedly political move, while others said it means he’s listening to his constituents. But no one seemed particularly happy about the state of politics right now or their choices for Senator.

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews
Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews
More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo

The Coal Vote: Showdown in West Virginia’s Midterm Elections

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

This year’s midterm elections are projected to be the most expensive in American history. One of the most notable races, where outside interests are pouring in millions of dollars, is in West Virginia’s third district — and the campaign is centered on one thing: coal.

The coal industry has dominated West Virginia for the past 150 years, exerting great influence over its economy and politics. Obama’s push to drastically reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change has convinced many West Virginians that the federal government is waging a “war on coal” and, in turn, on West Virginia, as mines close and jobs are cut.

The backlash has placed 19-term Democratic incumbent Nick Rahall under fire for his perceived affiliation with Obama. The Koch brothers and other out-of-state energy interests have seized this opportunity to oust Rahall, leading Democratic State Senator Evan Jenkins to switch parties and run as a Republican.

VICE News traveled to West Virginia’s third district to cover the race between the two candidates as they fight to prove who will be coal’s greatest champion, and spoke with locals about coal’s outsized importance in the region.

Check out “Voters In Colorado and Kansas Are Tuning Out This Year’s Election” – http://bit.ly/1rE4mHB

Check out “Environmental Groups Target Key Midterm Fight For North Carolina Senate Seat” – http://bit.ly/1wK2X6H

Check out “Get Ready For More False Claims By Big Polluters” – http://bit.ly/1G0bLvq

Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews
Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews