An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING, W.Va. — West Virginians have seen the extreme liberal wing of the Democrat Party in action, and they want no part of it in Washington or Charleston. If that does not convince state Democrat leaders to shift their agendas, those still remaining in office will deserve to lose their next elections.
House of Delegates Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, put the situation succinctly: “I think people sent a pretty clear message that they are unhappy with the Democratic leadership, starting in Washington and trickling down to the state of West Virginia as well.” Miley should know. In January, he will step down from the speaker’s post as Republicans, who won a majority of House seats Tuesday, name one of their own to the job.
For generations, West Virginians were, by and large, a reliable source of votes for Democrats. Fewer than six years of President Barack Obama’s tenure have reversed that. Not only did Republicans take comfortable control of the House of Delegates on Tuesday, they also gained enough state Senate seats to split that body down the middle.
Perhaps the most powerful demonstration of change was in the race for a U.S. Senate seat. Rep. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., won handily over Democrat Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. Capito garnered 62.14 percent of the vote to Tennant’s 34.46 percent, according to unofficial returns. And the race was a clean sweep: Capito won in every one of the state’s 55 counties.
To some extent, the election was a referendum against Obama’s actions. But it also allowed West Virginians to pass judgment on ultra-liberal policies in general – and the message they sent was unequivocal.