Today is primary day in Nebraska and West Virginia. There’s really only one race worth watching here, but it could be a doozy: West Virginia Rep. Allan Mollohan, a 14-term Democrat, is facing one of the toughest primaries of his career. Mollohan, who is in perennial trouble with the Ethics Committee for his profligate porking, is being challenged by former WVU student body president and Morgantown-area Democratic state Sen. Michael Oliverio. Oliverio, who filed right at the deadline, says Mollohan “should be helping those least fortunate, not funneling money to pet projects.”
Mollohan has had trouble fundraising all year. He leads Oliverio with $796,000 to $320,000 but a tough primary could enfeeble Mollohan for a general election in a district rated R+9 by Cook Political Report. Oliverio says his internal polls show him up by 8 percentage points — Mollohan is noticeably silent on his internals* — and Cook rates the race a toss up. And the anti-incumbent wave rages on.
*Update1: Robertgp421 on twitter provides a link to Mollohan internal polls which show him leading by 9 percentage points at the end of last month.
Update2: Last night Oliverio beat Mollohan 56-44. Scary news for, particularly for any pro-life Dems or Dems in pro-life districts who voted for health care reform as that seems to have been a significant factor contributing to Mollohan’s defeat.