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Four Things To Watch in West Virginia Four Things To Watch in West Virginia

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Politics

Four Things To Watch in West Virginia

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin reacts to crowd support during the Democratic primary election party Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Charleston, W.V. Tomblin will represent the Democrats during October's special gubernatorial election.(PHOTO: JEFF GENTNER/AP)

McKinley's district: In 2012 Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., faces a rematch with former Democratic state Sen. Mike Oliverio, whom he narrowly defeated in 2010. McKinley won the race in the district last year by a a margin by just 1,440 votes. With Oliverio running again, it's worth keeping an eye on who wins in McKinley's district, and by how much. If Maloney carries McKinley's district, it's a bad sign for Oliverio. The final margin and acceptance/concession speeches: If the final tally is close, note the tones of the respective speeches. The race is likely to be close and whoever wins will have to be mindful they haven't received a clear mandate and will be facing voters again in 13 months for the regularly-scheduled election. The losing speech will be more interesting. Even if he does not win, Maloney has impressed many Republicans with his upset of former Secretary of State Betty Ireland in the primary and has shown an ability to close the gap in the closing days of the race against Tomblin. Why is this notable? He hasn't ruled out another run again in 2012 if he loses. Less likely: a run against Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. If Maloney loses by a small margin but sounds a positive tone in a concession speech, it could enhance his long-term image. If Tomblin loses, many Democrats will be upset that their start-to-finish frontrunner couldn't seal the deal.

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