You heard it here first


Richard Baehr, American Thinker, April 14, 2005:

I hope the West Virginia GOP will not waste Shelly Capito in a run against Byrd. While she might run close, she is still likely to lose. And if she gives up her hard earned House seat to run, the seat could well be picked up by a  Democrat. The state is turning quite red at the Presidential level (Bush won by 13% in 2004), but  still leans Democratic for most other races.

Robert Novak, April 16, 2005:

While Republicans claim they are targeting Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd for re—election to a ninth term in West Virginia next year, GOP strategists actually regard the Senate's senior member as unbeatable and don't want to waste a serious candidate against him.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, 53, has been talked about as an effective Republican challenger against the 87—year—old Byrd. However, national party leaders feel she would face an uphill battle. Even if Byrd has seemed more partisan and more eccentric recently, he is considered unbeatable in West Virginia with so many public works in the state named after him.

Republican leaders worry that if Capito ran against Byrd, she not only would be likely to be defeated for the Senate but probably would also lose her former House seat to a Democrat. Capito is the first Republican elected to Congress from West Virginia since 1980.