Don Blankenship Just Lost

It wasn’t close.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom via ZUMA

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The Don Blankenship comeback tour has come to a screeching halt. The West Virginia Republican and former coal baron, who was running for US Senate less than a year after completing a federal prison sentence, finished a distant third in Tuesday’s Republican primary. He conceded while the race between his opponent, Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, was still too close to call. Morrisey was eventually declared the winner; he’ll face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin in a contest that could decide control of the Senate.

Blankenship spent much of his campaign attempting to re-litigate the event for which he is now infamous—the 2010 explosion at his company’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners—and his subsequent conviction for conspiring to commit federal mine safety violations. In the Trump era, he found a sympathetic audience by presenting himself as a “political prisoner” of President Barack Obama’s Justice Department:

Blankenship’s Republican opponents never really challenged him on his alternative history, and tellingly, neither did President Donald Trump when he told voters on Monday to support someone else. But after Roy Moore’s collapse in Alabama last December, party leaders didn’t want to deal with Blankenship’s baggage. Evidently, voters didn’t either.

The bad news for Blankenship is he’s not going to be a senator. The good news is that his probation ends tomorrow.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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