WV Democrat Says He Supported Bush More than He Supports Obama">WV Democrat Says He Supported Bush More than He Supports Obama
Get ready for a bloody November Democrats.
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), first elected in 1976, is a top target of Republicans in a state where Obama has long been deeply unpopular. He is facing a state senator, Evan Jenkins, who switched to the GOP to challenge him, and the House Democratic campaign committee recently added him to its “Frontline” list of members that need the most help saving their seat in November.
“There’s no question my critics try to blame Obama-Rahall for everything,” Rahall told The Hill. “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.”
Obama’s national approval rating fell to the lowest of his presidency, 41 percent, in an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday. In West Virginia, however, it is much lower. A Gallup study released in January found that during 2013, an average of just 25 percent of West Virginians approved of the president’s performance.
Rahall acknowledged that Obama was deeply unpopular in his district, and he quickly ticked off a half dozen policies where the two have disagreed: coal, trade, immigration, abortion, gun control and the conduct of Attorney General Eric Holder, who Rahall voted to hold in contempt. “That’s just off the top of my head,” he said.
“I will support him when he’s good for West Virginia, and I will oppose him when he’s bad for West Virginia,” Rahall said.
Asked if Obama had been good for West Virginia overall, he replied, “Probably not.”
“I probably have supported George Bush more than I have Barack Obama,” Rahall said. “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 represents West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District. According to its Presidential Voting Index (PVI), the district registers at an R+14. To put that in comparison with a district in Wisconsin, think WI-05, which is the one Jim Sensenbrenner represents.
That seat comes in at an R+13.