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West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2014

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West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
May 13, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Nick Rahall Democratic Party
Nick Rahall.jpg

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

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of West Virginia.png
The 3rd Congressional District of West Virginia will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
January 25, 2014
May 13, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: West Virginia is one of 22 states with a mixed primary system. Parties decide who may vote. Both parties allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their primaries.[1]

Voter registration: Voters must register to vote in the primary by April 22, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline is October 14, 2014.[2]

See also: West Virginia elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is Nick Rahall (D), who was first elected in 1976.

West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District is located in the southern portion of the state and includes Pocahontas, Webster, Nicholas, Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, Raleigh, Mercer, McDowell, Wyoming, Mingo, Logan, Boone, Lincoln, Wayne, Cabell and Mason counties.[3]


Race background

Incumbent Nick Rahall (D) is one of seven early targets listed by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in the 2014 congressional elections.[7] The seven targets align perfectly with the seven most Republican districts currently held by Democrats, according to FairVote's partisanship index. Rahall's district ranks as the 3rd most Republican (40% D).[8]

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) added Rahall to its Frontline Program in March 2014.[9] 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.[10]

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."[11][12]

On April 6, 2014 on CNN's Inside Politics, John King said that Rahall was "about to retire a couple of weeks ago. And the leadership convinced him not to do that." In an interview with, Rahall called King's comments "completely false". He added, “I gave absolutely no consideration to withdrawing from this race. The Democrat Party has always intended to support me and they and the voters will do just that. I would not give up this seat, which belongs to the people, without a fight.”[13]


President Bush

On March 12, 2014, Nick Rahall said he supported former President George W. Bush more than President Obama.[14]

“There’s no question my critics try to blame Obama-Rahall for everything. I mean, the snow blitz that’s coming tonight is probably Obama-Rahall’s fault. And they won’t have that to do two years from now, so it’s obvious they’re leaving no stone unturned to defeat me this time. Because it’s the last time they’ll have Obama around! It’s that simple,” Rahall said.[14]

When asked if Obama has been good for West Virginia overall, Rahall replied, “Probably not.”[14]

“I will support him when he’s good for West Virginia, and I will oppose him when he’s bad for West Virginia...I probably have supported George Bush more than I have Barack Obama. Am I going to switch parties because of that? No. I’m a Democrat, born a Democrat, am a Democrat and will die a Democrat,” Rahall added.[14]

EPA regulations

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prepared to release new power plant CO2 regulations in September 2013, Rahall faced pressure from Jenkins. In July 2013, Rahall appeared at an EPA ceremony to rename the organization's headquarters. He insisted that his appearance was to afford him time to speak with Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator, but Jenkins claimed it was a "public show of meeting with the EPA."[15]

War on umbrellas

During a transportation news conference in September 2013, Rahall mistook an umbrella for a lump of coal. The National Republican Congressional Committee released a press release that stated the following:

"The chief economic staple of West Virginia is coal. But Congressman Nick Rahall has been in Washington so long he seems to have forgotten what coal looks like."[15]


Potential general election match-up
Poll Nick Rahall (D) Evan Jenkins (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Tarrance Group
March 3-5, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Sabato's Crystal Ball

Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, has changed West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District from “Toss-Up” to “Leans Republican.” Kondik listed the following reasons for the change: the Tarrance Group poll above, the false rumor that Rahall considered retiring, "the overwhelming support voters gave to Mitt Romney in 2012" in the third district, and Rahall's inability to separate himself from Obama, who is largely unpopular in the district.[16]


House Majority PAC's December 2013 ad, "Cannot Change."

House Majority PAC's March 2014 ad, "Nick Rahall - Stick."

House Majority PAC's March 2014 ad, "Evan Jenkins - Worry."

Americans for Prosperity's February 2014 ad, "Tell Rep. Rahall to Stop Obamacare."

American Energy Alliance's April 2014 ad, "Killing Coal."

House Majority PAC's April 2014 ad, "WV-03: Evan Jenkins - Spill."

"Evan Jenkins: Backbone."

"Rahall: Cecil 30."

House Majority PAC

See also: House Majority PAC

House Majority PAC launched an ad buy on December 10, 2013, for Nick Rahall (D).[17] The ad ran throughout southern West Virginia for ten days and cost approximately $150,000.[17]

“Right-wing, Koch Brothers-funded groups are spending big to prop up a two-time party-switcher, but Mountaineers know Nick Rahall is a fighter for southern West Virginia,” said Andy Stone, Communications Director for House Majority PAC.[17]

House Majority PAC released another $65,000 ad buy in March 2014 defending Rahall's record on coal.[18][19]

In the ad, a man identified as retired coal miner Rick Ryan goes after the “New York billionaires” for paying for attack ads against Rahall.[18]

“Nick Rahall isn’t against coal. He saved my job and 500 others when he stopped Washington from closing the Hobet Mine...Those billionaires want you to vote for Evan Jenkins, a man the Gazette called a ‘shill’ for insurance companies,” Ryan said in the ad.[18]

The group released a third ad for Nick Rahall on March 11, 2014, "Worry."[20]

The ad featured a West Virginia coal-mining family warning "we both could get hurt" if Rahall's opponent, state Rep. Evan Jenkins, wins the race.[20] At the same time, the group paid $60,000 to put out the ad and keep another running.[20]

House Majority PAC released a $65,000 ad buy, "Spill", in April 2014 accusing Jenkins of delaying a water safety bill. The ad also ties Jenkins to the Koch bothers.[21]

“Worry” Controversy

The ad "Worry," created by House Majority PAC in support of Nick Rahall (D), claimed that Evan Jenkins (R) “vowed to repeal black lung benefits” and “supports letting insurance companies charge women more for healthcare.”[22] called the claims "bogus" explaining that, although Jenkins has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, doing so would not repeal the Federal Black Lung Benefits Program.[23] Jenkins supports repealing and replacing the ACA, but he has not explained how he would replace it. According to Jenkins’s website, "he is firmly opposed to any cuts to the Federal Black Lung Benefit Program."[24] Jenkins’s campaign also explained that he "would support a replacement bill that prohibits gender-based ratings when setting premiums."[23]

According to, “The fight comes down to who would better protect the expanded black lung protections that the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., added to the Affordable Care Act.”[25]


See also: Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity launched a $30,000 radio ad attacking incumbent Nick Rahall on February 10, 2014.[26]

American Energy Alliance

The American Energy Alliance launched the TV ad, "Killing Coal", attacking Rep. Nick Rahall on April 1, 2014. The campaign is backed by a $113,000 buy.[27]


Jenkins launched his first ad, "Evan Jenkins: Backbone," which attacks Rahall and House Majority PAC for their false claims in the "Worry" ad. After citing's argument that the claims made by Rahall and HMP are "bogus," the narrator says, "Nick Rahall, a lying politician, just like Obama."[28]


Rahall launched an ad featuring Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers Association. In the ad, Roberts “accuses 'billionaires' of 'telling lies' about Rahall.”[28]

Campaign contributions

Nick Rahall

Nick Rahall (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[29]April 15, 2013$109,681.30$142,748.79$(35,322.74)$217,107.35
July Quarterly[30]July 15, 2013$217,107.35$182,325.11$(45,026.77)$354,405.69
October Quarterly[31]October 15, 2013$354,405.69$158,529.65$(39,200.90)$473,734.44
Year-end[32]January 31, 2014$473,734$428,313$(62,168)$839,880
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2014$839,880.26$324,255.05$(65,788.24)$1,098,347.07
Running totals

Richard Ojeda

Richard Ojeda Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[34]April 15, 2014$0.00$15,790.08$(9,260.49)$6,529.59
Running totals

Evan Jenkins

Evan Jenkins (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[35]October 15, 2013$0$207,285$(10,342)$196,941
Year End[36]January 31, 2014$196,941$202,189$(32,012)$367,118
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2014$367,118.19$193,529.93$(48,385.86)$512,262.26
Running totals

District history

Candidate Ballot Access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


The 3rd Congressional District of West Virginia held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Nick Rahall won re-election in the district, defeating Rick Snuffer (R) in the general election.[38]

U.S. House, West Virginia District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNick Rahall Incumbent 53.5% 102,519
     Republican Rick Snuffer 46.5% 88,999
Total Votes 191,518
Source: West Virginia Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 2, 2010, Nick Rahall won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Elliott E. "Spike" Maynard (R) in the general election.[39]

U.S. House, West Virginia District 3 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNick Rahall incumbent 56% 83,636
     Republican Elliott E. "Spike" Maynard" 44% 65,611
Total Votes 149,247

See also

External links


  1. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  2. West Virginia Secretary of State Website, "Voter Registration FAQ," accessed January 3, 2014
  3. West Virginia Redistricting Map "Map" accessed July 24, 2012
  4. West Virignia Secretary of State-Elections, "Candidate Search," accessed January 27, 2014
  5. The Hill, "Manchin's State of Union guest to challenge Rep. Nick Rahall," accessed January 20, 2014
  6. Washington Post, "West Virginia Democrat switches parties to challenge Rahall," accessed July 31, 2013
  7. The Hill, "NRCC, promising to 'stay on offense,' targets seven Dems," accessed January 16, 2013
  8. FairVote, "NRCC targets foreshadow power of partisanship in 2014 elections," January 18, 2013
  9. Roll Call, "DCCC adds Nick Rahall to incumbent protection program," accessed March 11, 2014
  10. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," accessed March 5, 2013
  11. Roll Call, "House Republicans put 36 recruits ‘On the radar'," accessed November 21, 2013
  12. NRCC Young Guns, "List," accessed March 20, 2014
  13. Logan Banner, "Rahall denies he considered retirement," accessed April 8, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 The Hill, "Rahall: I supported Bush more than Obama," accessed March 13, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Politico, "Nick Rahall under fire ahead of rules on power plants," accessed September 16, 2013
  16. Metro News, "Sabato’s Crystal Ball goes to ‘leans Republican’ for Rahall-Jenkins," April 10, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 The House Majority PAC, "House Majority PAC To Air WV-03 Ad," accessed December 11, 2013
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The Hill, "Super-PAC defends Rahall on coal," accessed March 11, 2014
  19. National Journal, "Election day in FL-13; House majority PAC defends Rahall in WV-03; Crist Outraised Scott in Feb.," accessed March 11, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 The Hill, "Dem super-PAC launches new ad for Rahall," accessed March 17, 2014
  21. The Hill, "Dem super-PAC knocks Rahall opponent on chemical spill," April 8, 2014
  22., "WV-03: Evan Jenkins - ‘Worry'," accessed March 28, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1, "Bogus attack in coal mine country," accessed March 28, 2014
  24. Evan Jenkins for Congress, "Coal," accessed March 31, 2014
  25. W.V. Gazette, "Ad sparks dispute between Rahall, Jenkins camps," accessed March 26, 2014
  26. Politico, "Obama commits to at least 18 Democratic fundraisers—Jindal warns of ‘modern left’ at Reagan Library—FL-13 polls show Sink in the lead—Friday standings—Beyer gets a new endorsement in VA-08," accessed February 11, 2014
  27. National Journal, "ACA enrollment surpasses 7M; AEA goes after Begich, Rahall on coal; Gray loses D.C. mayoral primary," accessed April 2, 2014
  28. 28.0 28.1 Roll Call, “Republican hits vulnerable West Virginia Democrat in first TV spot,” accessed April 17, 2014
  29. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  33. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 17, 2014
  34. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 17, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed February 26, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 26, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 17, 2014
  38. Politico, "2012 Election Map, West Virginia"
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013