Intercepted Memo: The Morrisey Campaign
On election night, when Republican Patrick Morrisey defeated incumbent Attorney General Darrell McGraw by over 2.5 percentage points, some political analysts in West Virginia and nationally were surprised. If they were, that only meant that they didn’t follow the race very closely.
Morrisey dominated campaign messaging from the outset of the race and implemented an aggressive strategy against an opponent stuck in a 1970’s style campaign operation. While defeating a 20-year incumbent was certainly difficult, the result was not unexpected in light of the campaigns waged by both men.
In winning, Morrisey made history in three important ways: 1) He will become the first Republican Attorney General to serve the state since 1933; 2) He is the first challenger to defeat an incumbent Democrat on the West Virginia Board of Public Works since 1896; and 3) He is the highest ranking Republican in the United States to defeat a Democratic incumbent for a constitutional office in the 2012 elections.
Other than Darrell McGraw, no other Democratic incumbent Attorney General, Governor, or Secretary of State in the country lost in their reelection bids. On a terrible night for Republicans nationally, Morrisey’s campaign stood out as a strong Republican success.
There is a very interesting story behind this election that has yet to be told. In this case, the conventional wisdom about the campaign misses the main reasons why Morrisey prevailed.
If you are interested in discussing this race or learning more about one of the biggest Republican success stories in the country in this year’s elections, I would be happy to discuss. It’s a sign of bigger things to come in West Virginia and for our country.