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Battleground Friday: West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District

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West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
May 13, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Evan Jenkins Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Nick Rahall Democratic Party
Nick Rahall.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Democratic Toss Up[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Toss-up[2]

West Virginia U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of West Virginia.png

By Jennifer Springer and the Congress team


In the next profile of our 2014 battleground districts, Ballotpedia is taking an in-depth look at West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District's 2014 election.

Current incumbent: Nick Rahall (D) was elected to the 3rd District in 1976. Rahall is one of seven targets listed by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in the 2014 congressional elections.[3]

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) added Rahall to its Frontline Program in March 2014.[4] The Frontline Program is a partnership between the DCCC and members of congress designed to protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Members of the program are required to sign a memorandum that requires them to meet aggressive fundraising goals, accelerate volunteer and recruitment efforts and increase their online networking.[5]

2012 MOV: Rahall won the seat in 2012 with a margin of victory of 7.1% over Rick Snuffer (R). He won by just 13,520 votes.

2014 candidates: Rahall will face challenger Richard Ojeda in the Democratic primary on May 13, 2014.[6] If Rahall wins, he will take on state Sen. Evan Jenkins in the general election on November 4, 2014. Jenkins is a former Democrat who switched parties in July 2013 in order to run against Rahall for the seat.[7] The National Republican Congressional Committee added Evan Jenkins (R) to their "On the Radar" list in November 2013. According to the NRCC, candidates that make this list receive "...the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents."[8][9][10]

Outside spending: House Majority PAC and Americans for Prosperity have already been active in the district, running television and radio advertisements.

Polls: Evan Jenkins (R) had the lead in the most recent poll in a match-up with incumbent Nick Rahall.

FEC: Democratic challenger Richard Ojeda has yet to file a report with the Federal Election Commission. According to the Year End Reports for Rahall and Jenkins, Rahall led in fundraising by slightly less than $500,000 cash-on-hand.[11][12]

What made it a Ballotpedia battleground district?: All signs point to West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District being a battleground in 2014. Fairvote projections show the district as only slightly favoring Democrats, while Cook PVI shows the district as heavily favoring Republicans. Incumbent Nick Rahall is a longtime Democrat serving in a Republican district, and is an NRCC target in 2014. In addition, the district was won by the Republican presidential candidate in both 2012 and 2008. Romney secured 32.2% more votes than Obama in 2012 and McCain won the district by 13.4% in 2008.

The information above was compiled following the West Virginia's candidate filing deadline. Please find all further updates on the 3rd District's election page.
West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District
West Virginia District 3 Map.PNG

Population: 614,586
Gender: 48.9% Male, 51.1% Female
Race: 94.2% White, 3.5% Black
Ethnicity: 0.6% Hispanic
Unemployment: 8.3%
Median household income: $34,826
High school graduation rate: 79.4%
College graduation rate: 15%

See also