Election 2016: West Virginia Goes For Trump, Justice Wins, State Legislature Remains with GOP


LIVE RESULTS: U.S. President  |  U.S. House of Representatives  |  W.Va. Governor  |  W.Va. Constitutional Officers |  W.Va. Senate |  W.Va. House of Delegates

Update: November 8, 2016 at 11:40 p.m.

In West Virginia, a Democrat will remain in the governor’s mansion and Republicans will keep control of both the state Senate and House of Delegates. Mostly told, it was an election that represented the status quo in state politics aside from a few exceptions.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Billionaire businessman and Democrat Jim Justice won over Republican Bill Cole in the race for governor.
  • Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won re-election.
  • A few upsets were had in the state Senate.

West Virginia was called for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who won the state handedly as forecasted by state and national polls.
Stay locked on to NPR’s Election 2016 Blog for more as the presidential race still remains up in the air. 

Update: November 8, 2016 at 10:30 p.m.

Republicans in the West Virginia Senate appear to be picking up a few more seats (adding to their current 18-16 majority), despite Democrat Glenn Jeffries defeating Republican incumbent Chris Walters in the 8th District. 

Other upsets in the state Senate include: 

  • Republican Ryan Weld over Democrat incumbent Jack Yost in the 1st District.
  • Democrat Denise Campbell defeating Republican Greg Boso in the 11th District. 

The state Senate race between Republican incumbent Mitch Carmichael and Democrat Brian Prim remains too close to call.

In the race for auditor, Republican John McCuskey has landed a victory over Democrat Mary Ann Claytor and Liberterian Brenton Ricketts.

Update: November 8, 2016 at 10:10 p.m.

In the race for attorney general, Democrat Doug Reynolds has conceded the race to Republican incumbent Patrick Morrisey.

“We ran a great race, despite being outspent 2:1 by out-of-state special interests,” said Reynolds in a news release issued late Tuesday. “I enjoyed traveling around the state meeting people, and I thank them for opening their hearts and homes to me over the past year. I have been honored to serve the people of my district and the state through my work in the West Virginia legislature, and I don’t intend to stop that service as a private citizen.”
Update: November 8, 2016 at 9:56 p.m.

In West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, Evan Jenkins has won re-election over Democrat Mat Detch and Liberterian Zane Lawhorn. 

Many races in the state Senate and House of Delegates have been decided, while others remain too close to call as of now–such as the state Senate race between Republican incumbent Mitch Carmichael and Democrat Brian Prim. Follow along with our interactive maps and live results. 

Update: November 8, 2016 at 9:26 p.m.

The Associated Press has called the West Virginia governor’s race for Democrat billionaire businessman Jim Justice. 

Update: November 8, 2016 at 9:15 p.m.

At this time, the race for president remains up in the air, as many key states like Florida remain uncalled and Republican Donald Trumps leads with 129 electoral votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 97 electoral votes. 

With 31 percent of precincts reporting in the governor’s race, Democrat Jim Justice leads Republican Bill Cole. 
Update: November 8, 2016 at 8:40 p.m.

In the race for West Virginia’s three U.S. House of Representative seats, Republican David McKinley has been called the winner of the 1st District over Democrat Mike Manypenny. 

Democrat Mark Hunt currently has a slight lead over Republican incumbent Alex Mooney in the 2nd District. In the state’s 3rd District, Republican incumbent Evan Jenkins leads by a wide margin in his race over his two opponents.

Update: November 8, 2016 at 8:11 p.m.

Results for state races in West Virginia are beginning to come in after polls closed at 7:30 p.m., with Democrat Jim Justice out to an early lead over Republican Bill Cole and three third-party candidates in the governor’s race

West Virginia Senate and state House of Delegates results are also coming in, as well as other statewide races. Races for attorney general and secretary of state are tight as the first votes begin to be counted. Follow along with those races with interactive maps and live results. 

Update: November 8, 2016 at 7:33 p.m.

Just after polls closed in West Virginia at 7:30 p.m., Donald Trump has been projected as the winner–taking the state’s five electoral votes. At the time of publishing, the Republican candidate leads Democrat Hillary Clinton 24 to 3. 

270 electoral votes are needed for a candidate to win the presidency. 

Update: November 8, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

There’s just one hour left until polls close in West Virginia and results begin to be counted. Remember, though, if you’re still in line at 7:30, don’t leave. Your vote still counts.

At the top of the ticket, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is favored over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Billionaire businessman Jim Justice is favored in the governor’s race over Republican Senate President Bill Cole.

The state’s five constitutional officers, including attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and agriculture commissioner, are also on the ballot. The attorney general’s race between Republican incumbent Patrick Morrisey and Doug Reynolds will be closely watched.

In the state legislature, 18 seats are up for grabs in the state senate (including one unexpired term), while all 100 House of Delegates seats will be decided. Republicans begin the night with a 24 to 11 advantage in uncontested statehouse races. 


Credit Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
“All votes matter, and you should go out and vote. Martin Luther King fought for this,” said Kimberly Jackson, who lives in the Carrol Terrace Apartments on Charleston’s East End.

Update: November 8, 2016 at 3:23 p.m.

In Monongalia County, voters are seeing shorter lines at the polls – thanks to the county’s high early voter turnout rate and a shorter ballot.

County Clerk Carye Blaney said that a shorter general election ballot, compared to the 2016 primary ballot, made all the difference.

“Some of the contests, had 200 plus candidates. They were all very lengthy, and took the voter a much more significant amount of time to mark their ballot,” Blaney told West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Anne Li.

Blaney also said Monongalia County’s high early voting turnout rate also contributed to shorter lines this election. West Virginia broke statewide early voting records this year, despite the fact the early voting period was shortened from 20 days to 10 days in 2010. Monongalia County had the highest early voting rate at 30 percent in the 2016 general election.

Update: November 8, 2016 at 2:10 p.m.

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office says so far, voting has been smooth across the state today with only a few counties reporting some minor problems.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says 24 liaisons from the office are positioned across the state to deal with those complaints as they come in and have dealt with issues like repositioning electronic voting machines in precincts or posting notices outside buildings of precinct location changes.

The secretary of state’s office says on average voters are waiting about 15 or 20 minutes in voting lines. Polls remain open until 7:30 tonight.

“I was and am asking voters for their patience, for their respect and their understanding to the polls workers and what they’re doing,” Tennant told West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Ashton Marra.


Credit Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginians voted in record numbers during the 10-day early voting period that ended Saturday. More than 220,000 votes were cast during early voting.

Update: November 8, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

Election officials in West Virginia say voting has gone smoothly since polls opened this morning, as voters cast ballots for president, the governor’s race and other statewide offices.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Briana Wilson says there have been only minor issues reported at a few locations. She did not have any firm reports of turnout as of mid-morning.

The governor’s race pits billionaire Democrat Jim Justice against Republican state Senate President Bill Cole. Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has reached his two-consecutive-term limit.

National and state polls show West Virginia voters overwhelmingly support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential race.

One voter in Charleston this morning was 27-year-old Kat Biller, who decided on Clinton.             

“I felt my duty was to vote. Even though they say West Virginia is a Trump State, and they say oh there’s no way. It felt good to vote,” said Biller.

Biller is a first time voter. She works at a Charleston bookstore and has a 4-month-old baby.

Update: November 8, 2016 at 8:50 a.m.

With polls opening at 6:30 a.m., West Virginians across the state are casting ballots for president, congress, as well as state and local officials. Turnout is expected to be high, with Secretary of State Natalie Tennant announcing Monday that early voting  broke records for the 2016 election cycle.

Be sure to keep checking this post for more updates from across the state and to see live results at 7:30 p.m. as polls close and votes being to be counted. You can find additional coverage of Election 2016, including candidate profiles, archived episodes of Viewpoint with Ashton Marra and more here

You can also report your voting experience by participating in ElectionLand


Credit Chad Matlick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Voters head to the polls early at Morgantown High School on Tuesday, November 8.

Television coverage from the PBS NewsHour begins at 7 p.m. and West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Ashton Marra will provide live and local updates throughout the evening at the top of the hour.

NPR hosts Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish, Rachel Martin, and Ari Shapiro will co-host our special coverage from NPR headquarters in Washington, DC, starting at 8:00 p.m. WVPB’s Beth Vorhees will provide live updates and results from the West Virginia elections throughout the night.