West Virginia, Ohio And Indiana Voters Weigh In On Their States' Primary Elections

May 8, 2018
Originally published on May 8, 2018 10:20 pm
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

All right, well, earlier today, we caught up with some of those voters who had been out at the polls in these states, among them Rudy (ph) Bannister of Del Burton, W. Va. He told us he threw his support behind U.S. Congressman Evan Jenkins in the Republican Senate primary in that state. That's because he was worried that Don Blankenship couldn't win against Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin. Blankenship, just as a reminder, is the former coal mining exec convicted of conspiring to undermine safety regulations in coal mines.

RUSTY BANNISTER: Reason why - 'cause he's - I think he's got the best shot to beat Manchin. I'd vote for Blankenship, but he - I don't think he can beat Manchin. But I think Jenkins has got it because he's got experience. And I believe he's got the best shot to take Manchin down.

KELLY: And at this hour, as Domenico just told us, those votes are still being counted in West Virginia, so we don't have a result there. In another state that President Trump won, Indiana, some voters aligned with the candidate who most closely identified with Trump's positions. That was the case for Caiden Bennett of Lafayette, Ind. In the Senate primary, he voted for Todd Rokita, a current U.S. congressman.

CAIDEN BENNETT: Believes in America first, big Trump supporter. I'm a big Trump supporter, so that's who my vote goes to.

KELLY: And even though he didn't win, that sentiment was an important factor in this race that seemed not likely to go away with more primaries coming. Next door in Ohio, it was a battle of who was the most progressive Democrat for the governor's seat. Two of the six candidates tried to claim that title, Dennis Kucinich and Richard Cordray. Robert Hempel of Canton, Ohio, went for Cordray, who, as we just heard, will head to the general election in November.

ROBERT HEMPEL: They're both progressive - him and Kucinich. I think Kucinich seems like he gets excited. Cordray seems more calm. I think Cordray has a better chance in the main election. I think they're both good people.

KELLY: Another Ohio voter, Jamie Covington of Akron, Ohio, voted for Kucinich, the former congressman who once ran for president.

JAMIE COVINGTON: It's a little divided, I would say, in Ohio because you have those who still believe in tradition and everything. And then you have those that believe that we need to try something else; we need to do something else. And Dennis Kucinich is that something else. He's a progressive. And life is about progression. We can't stay stagnant forever. We got to move forward.

KELLY: Voters there in Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia on the choices they made today in their states' primaries. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.