Posted on | January 11, 2013 | 10 Comments
Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller will not run for reelection in 2014, passing up a bid for a sixth term and putting in play a Senate seat in deep red West Virginia.
(Via Memeorandum.) The big question, of course, is whether West Virginia Republicans — from the party leadership down to the grassroots — can come together and nominate an electable candidate who can generate widespread enthusiasm from the conservative base.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey offers this analysis:
[Republican Rep. Shelley] Moore Capito has a lot more experience in running for office in West Virginia than previous candidates. She may not be a Tea Party darling — at least not yet — but she has been an effective campaigner in the state. It certainly seems to have provided the impetus to drive Rockefeller into retirement in a state that kept re-electing Robert Byrd even when it became clear he wasn’t up to the task.
After two years of woe for Senate GOP campaigns caused by incompetence and internal divisions, we have to cross our fingers and hope that Republicans can avoid needless blunders in 2014.