Morrisey leading in West Virginia; Blankenship third [UPDATED: Morrisey wins]

With more than 60 percent of West Virginia’s precincts reporting, Patrick Morrisey, the state’s Attorney General, holds the lead in the Republican Senate primary. He’s at 36 percent. Rep. Evan Jenkins is in second place with 28 percent.

Don Blankenship, whom we criticized here, is in third place. His share of the vote is just under 20 percent.

There were reports that Blankenship was surging in the polls. I don’t know whether he actually was, but if so, President Trump’s tweet urging voters to support Morrisey or Jenkins, and calling Blankenship unelectable, probably stalled, if not reversed, the former coal executive’s momentum.

In raw vote terms, Morrisey leads Jenkins by about 7,000 votes and Blankenship by about 15,000. Early in the ballot counting, Blankenship admitted that the returns didn’t look good for him. He was right.

Blankenship has suggested that he might run in the general election as a third party candidate. We’ll worry about that later, if necessary [Note: state law apparently bans losers of primaries from running in the general election]. Tonight, the news from West Virginia is all good from where I sit.

I SHOULD ADD that the nominee is the candidate who received the most votes today, presumably Morrisey. There is no requirement that he receive a majority and no run-off election.

UPDATE: Fox News has called the race for Morrisey. Blankenship has conceded.

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