West Virginians to Decide State House, Senate in November

October 28, 2022

Mountaineer News


With elections a little more than a week away, West Virginians are poised to decide Nov. 8 who will represent respective districts in the state senate and house of delegates.

Republicans hold a supermajority in both chambers. The party has a strong 78-22 majority in the 100-member house and a solid 23-11 majority in the 34-member Senate. As Republicans try to maintain control, Democrats hope to make up some of the ground they lost in the election two years ago.

Even though Republicans have done well in recent elections, Democrats have been more competitive historically. Nearly 39% of registered voters are Republicans, more than 34% of registered voters are Democrats and more than 27% of registered voters are members of a third party or have no party affiliation.

However, Marybeth Beller, a political science professor at Marshall University in Huntington, told The Center Square party membership does not guarantee people will vote along party lines.

“The Republican party has been much more unified in the past than the Democratic party, with party leadership working to secure Senator Manchin, a well-known conservative who often votes with the Republicans,” Beller said. “The Democratic party now has new leadership so we need to look to that organization gaining ground in the future.”

Beller said Republicans are likely to maintain their majorities in both chambers, but Democrats could gain some ground by picking up a few seats. She said some of the races to watch include the 8th Senate District, the 13th Senate District, the 26th House District and the 73rd House District.

“Abortion will likely drive many to the ballot box,” Beller said. “The amendment that took away the state’s responsibility for providing abortions won by a very narrow margin some years ago, and that was before the Dobbs decision. Economic concerns will also drive people. We are producing much more coal than in the recent past but with fewer jobs.”

Republicans did well in the House and Senate elections two years ago. During that election, Republicans picked up 18 seats in the House and three seats in the Senate to solidify supermajorities in both chambers.