Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: West Virginia Congressional Seats

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October 31, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

West Virginia's Congressional Elections in 2012
U.S. Senate Election? U.S. House seats Possible competitive races?
Yes 3 1 (3rd)

CHARLESTON: West Virginia: There are 3 U.S. House seats and 1 U.S. Senate seat on the ballot in West Virginia in 2012. Heading into general election on November 6, 2012, 100% of the congressional races are contested, meaning there are at least two candidates running in each of the 4 races.

U.S. Senate

Incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D) is running for re-election in 2012. Manchin was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, when he filled the seat left vacant by the late Robert Byrd.[1]

Manchin easily defeated Sheirl Fletcher 80-20 for the Democratic nomination in the May 8th primary contest.[2] He faces Republican candidate John Raese in the general election.[2] The race is not considered competitive and is listed as Likely Democratic according to a Cook Political Report Race Rating from October 4, 2012.[3]

U.S. House

Heading into the November 6 election, the Democratic Party holds 1 of the 3 Congressional seats from West Virginia. Of the 6 possible major party primaries (2 parties, 3 seats), 3 (50%) were contested, about the national average. The remaining 3 party primaries contained only one candidate. A highlight from the May 5th primaries includes:

  • West Virginia's 3rd District is currently represented by Democrat Nick Rahall. He is running for re-election and faces Republican Rick Snuffer. Although, currently represented by a Democrat, according to FairVote, the partisan breakdown of the district lists it as being 60% Republican in 2012.[4] According to the New York Times race ratings in October 2012, District 3 is considered to be in play.[5]

In West Virginia, all polling places are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM Eastern Time.[6] See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2012)

Here is a complete list of U.S. Senate and House candidates appearing on the general election ballot in West Virginia:



State General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
West Virginia Class 1 Senate seat Democratic Party Nick Rahall
Republican Party Rick Snuffer
Nick Rahall Pending Pending


District General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
1st Democratic Party Sue Thorn
Republican Party David McKinley
David McKinley Pending Pending
2nd Democratic Party Howard Swint
Republican Party Shelley Moore Capito
Shelley Moore Capito Pending Pending
3rd Democratic Party Nick Rahall
Republican Party Rick Snuffer
Nick Rahall Pending Pending
Members of the U.S. House from West Virginia -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 1 1
     Republican Party 2 2
Total 3 3
 Congressional Redistricting Map, approved August 2011 

For more information, view Redistricting in West Virginia.


See also

West Virginia