Ojeda-Miller race might not be that close

October 7, 2018

I explained before the primary election that it is one of the hazards of my game. A political columnist who publicly predicts the outcome of elections before they are held is asking for criticism. After all, I don’t own a crystal ball and — unlike some of my Bible-thumping readers — have no direct dialogue with God on political issues.

Those who cling to the hope that State Sen. Richard Ojeda is about to be elected to Congress from the 3rd District will use my pick of Delegate Shirley Love to prove I’m out of touch. I said Love would win the May Democrat primary. That proves I was once definitely wrong.

What I am relying on in this fall’s election are sources other than me who confirm what I believe to be true. In the case of the Democrat Ojeda versus Republican Delegate Carol Miller contest, I picked the Democrats’ most-loved prognosticator, Nate Silver, as my authority. Prior to 2016, he was promoted by liberals as the man who had “never been wrong.” He gave Hillary Clinton a 96 percent chance of being president. In case you missed it, Donald Trump’s 4 percent prevailed.

Anyway, I figured Dems would applaud my choice of Silver as the barometer of the Ojeda-Miller race. They would have — except for one little thing neither I nor they anticipated. Silver has been convinced since Day One that Miller will hold the seat to which Rep. (now West Virginia Supreme Court Justice) Evan Jenkins was elected. And Silver doesn’t even think it’s close.

The latest Silver figures show Miller with a 90.9 percent chance of retaining the seat for the GOP. If the election was today, Silver figures it would be 56.1 to 43.9 percent in favor of Miller. He says the closest the race can ever be is 50.3 to 49.7 percent Miller. The Republican could win by as much as 62-38 percent, Silver says.

One Democrat reader cautioned others to remember that I “hate Richie Ojeda” when giving those results. They aren’t my results, and I do not hate Sen. Ojeda.

I agree with him on marijuana, the LGBTQ community, pro-choice and a myriad of other issues. My problem is I do not agree with misleading constituents, which he is prone to do.

His shenanigans have made him an enemy of President Trump and Gov. Jim Just vice, which will cost even more votes on Nov. 6. Both have criticized him roundly lately.

It appears the Cabell County Republican Executive Committee will present a more united front following their headquarters grand opening last week. Chair T-Anne See handled the event’s aftermath well. This will be a tough election, and top leaders know disharmony is the not the key to victory.

Mistakes will always be made on occasion. I made one in 1974 and another in 1986. In any event the county GOP inadvertently left Brooke Lunsford off their list of candidates initially. Running for State Senate District 5, the error was quickly corrected.

The GOP grand opening on 11th Street drew a packed house. Although Miller was off in Wheeling for the President Trump rally, support for her candidacy was apparent. All candidates present spoke, lending to the cooperative atmosphere.

Earlier this summer, See deservedly won election as the head of the state Republican chairs.

In addition to her party work, See is well known as county coordinator for the National Day of Prayer.

Readers should know that no tips or story ideas from them are ever ignored. In fact, I had 10 or 15 calls with great tips last week. Sometimes it takes a while to search out the facts. Regular readers should know that I am really trying to get to the bottom of some things they have pointed out in the Cabell County clerk’s office. Stay tuned.

I have suggested that if President Donald Trump pays one more Patrick Morrisey-inspired visit to the Mountain State, it might spell victory for the Republican Attorney General over incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. Word this week is that Trump is coming back — this time to the southern coal fields where he is worshiped as nearly a god.

Contact Ron Gregory at 304-533-5185 or ronjgregory@gmail.com.

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