Voters start to the polls today.  They have faced six elections starting in 2010.  Voters are suffering election fatigue, the candidates are running tried campaigns and the money providers are drained.

Campaigns need energy to be successful.  The Governor’s race in WV has always been the energy creator but not this time.  Governor Tomblin seemed to spend his summer governing and dealing with problems not of his doing.  Candidate Maloney has worked under the radar.  Neither generating the enthusiasm required.

Today the action appears to be race for Attorney General.  Hardly what one would expect with a candidate (Morrisey) coming from outside our borders.   Incumbent McGraw has faced difficult battles in the past but not like this one.  It appears Morrisey is running a website campaign with an ad on every site visited.  I would have advised McGraw to follow a different campaign strategy than he has for years.  One that would have generated energy to fuel his re-election bid.  We’ll see.

There have been no public polls since R L Repass and Partners released their work in early September for the WV Chamber of Commerce.  But you can bet if Candidate Maloney had an internal poll showing him at the edge of victory it would have been leaked – or he would be writing another big check.  He needs the energy I recall from Governor Underwood’s 1996 for him to win.

The incumbent Governor Tomblin is expected to be in the lead.  His concern should be Southern voters who were a big factor in his earlier election.  Southern coal miners are not going to vote for Obama – that is a given.  But will they leave their traditional Democratic party to vote for Romney?  They may just not vote.  Remember when United Mine Workers declared a holiday in 1996 so their members would go out and vote for Democrat Charlotte Pritt.  Cecil Underwood won while the miners went squirrel hunting.

What could save Democrats in close races across the state is Senator Manchin.  Though he appears safe for re-election he is out working every day and has made some strategic moves.

Republican Party leaders have created high expectations among their county leaders.  Most see hope for a top down victory starting with Governor Romney.  The question is…will Romney have coattails?  If not, despite Republicans putting up their best slate of Board of Public Works candidates in years success may not be at their doorstep.

With such outstanding candidates and the need to change various state officials I would have offered this strategy.  One that was coordinated from the top that included fund raising, messaging, scheduling and marketing.  However, one thing being coordinated is the GOP effort to get-out-the vote thru eight Victory offices spread around the state.  This should pay dividends.

The Democratic Party has always run coordinated get-out-vote efforts.  Not much has ever been known about the elements used.  With the baggage of Obama on that ticket their candidates had better hope the party faithful go to the polls.

The most important take away message from this piece is don’t let fatigue keep you from the polls.


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