Just over 3 months after announcing his intentions to seek a rematch of one of the closest congressional elections of 2010, former West Virginia state Senator Mike Oliverio (D) announced today that he is abandoning his plans to seek a rematch with Rep. David McKinley (R, WV-01) (campaign site | official site).
While Oliverio has not yet stated his reasons for dropping out of this race, I will state the obvious: Barack Obama. As Roll Call stated when Oliverio initially declared his candidacy in September:
President Barack Obama took only 42 percent of the vote in the 1st district in 2008 and appears likely to garner less in 2012 — that will mean Oliverio will have to substantially run ahead of the top of the ticket if he wants to unseat McKinley. A Gallup poll taken over the course of the first half of 2011 put Obama’s approval in West Virginia at 33 percent, making it one of the states with the dimmest view of the president.
President Obama’s approval rating has since fallen to 28 percent and will likely decline further as he continues his War on Coal and the economy–both nationally and in West Virginia–continues to suffer.
The only remaining Democrat who could possibly mount a credible campaign is corrupt former Rep. Alan Mollohan (D), a second-generation congressman who was initially elected in 1982 when his father, Rep. Bob Mollohan (D), retired, and was defeated in the 2010 Democrat primary election by Oliverio. However, in addition to the aircraft carrier anchor known as Barack Obama leading the Democrat ticket in 2012, Mollohan’s electoral prospects will be further burdened by the same corruption issues that propelled Oliverio’s surprising primary election victory in 2010.