All six of the candidates in the West Virginia GOP primary for U.S. Senate have attempted to align themselves with the president, who are hoping to take on U.S. Sen. Blankenship is probably practicing some caution to not distance himself too far from Trump, considering the president won the state by 40 points in the 2016 election.
Instead, Trump recommended West Virginians vote for the either of the other two major candidates: Congressman Evan Jenkins or West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
The President adds his voice to the national Republicans who are anxious that Blankenship's upstart campaign could upend plans to run either Republican Rep. Evan Jenkins or Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who are seen as more electable, against vulnerable Democratic Sen. "Don Blankenship is Chuck Schumer's favorite candidate because everyone knows he will lose to Joe Manchin in the fall".
Blankenship has repeatedly stated on the campaign trail that Morrisey is at fault for the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, and vows he will not support the attorney general if chosen as the Republican nominee. That would be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is married to former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose family owns a shipping company, which owns a ship upon which drugs were once found.
Some in party leadership are still smarting from the loss in the Alabama senatorial election in which Democrat Doug Jones defeated Moore, a Republican who faced allegations from eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, the women were in their teens.
Blakenship is said to be rising in the polls against his two main challengers, possibly even leading, in the runup to the primary Tuesday.
"Now they understand what happened when Don fought back", says one character in the ad. Blankenship's attacks on McConnell's in-laws, who are of Chinese descent, are also reminiscent of Trump's nativist rhetoric during his presidential bid.
Greg Thomas, a Blankenship spokesman, said, "Mr. Morrisey is just having a tantrum".
"I think he's getting bad information", Blankenship said. "The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the president's agenda", Mr. Blankenship said. There's no race. Races are negro, white caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. No way! Remember Alabama.
"Tomorrow, West Virginia will send the swamp a message - no one, and I mean no one, will tell us how to vote", he continued. "In the Senate, it's wonderful how much more the Democrats are able to put aside their differences", said O'Connell. "As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump".
"I'm proud to have President Trump's support", he tweeted.
Whether Trump and McConnell's opposition hurts Blankenship will be revealed Tuesday at the polls.