(10/04/2011)
POLLS OPEN AT 6:30 AM AND CLOSE AT 7:30 PM TUESDAY

The special election of WV governor is Tuesday.

West Virginia, despite it's high Democrat registration numbers, has been declared a "red state" in recent years with national elections, but has generally clung to electing Democrats to state offices.

Tuesday's special election for governor could change that in a race between Earl Ray Tomblin(D) and contender Bill Maloney(R), a Morgantown businessman.

Lots of out-of-state money has been thrown into the race, spawning a huge number of negative political ads on both sides, with plenty of misinformation being spun on both sides.

Outside observers say the WV race is the most competitive governor's race in the USA.

The race, not unlike others, has focused on who supports President Barrack Obama the least, with Maloney's campaign characterizing Tomblin as a "lap dog" of the president.

WV overwhelmingly rejected President Obama at a time when he was at the peak of his popularity.

State political analysts still describe Tuesday as a West Virginia race, with Tomblin shying away from doing anything that looks or sounds liberal.

Former Gov. Joe Manchin ended up winning by a comfortable 10-point margin for the US Senate race, after a campaign in which he conspicuously distanced himself from the White House.

"There's a certain amount of voter fatigue," said Robert Rupp, a professor of history at West Virginia Wesleyan University. "Voter interest seems to be very low. Many people still think [the election] is in November."

National Republican candidates have been rewarded by the state's voters since 2000, when Al Gore fell to George W. Bush. Mr. Bush won again in 2004, and Sen. John McCain bucked the national Democratic landslide, carrying the state for the GOP yet again in 2008.

Despite the Republican's assault on deconstructing Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, Republicans have ended up with two of the state's three congressional seats in this once solidly Democratic state.


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