Bill Maloney, the Republican candidate for governor of West Virginia, will defeat Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin in the state's special election tomorrow. I predict Maloney will win 51.5% to 48.5% after being down by as many as 30 points earlier this year. President Obama's approval rating is in the high 20s in the state and any Democrat will suffer because of that large albatross. Six weeks ago Tomblin was ahead by more than 15 points but has seen the race become a dead heat in the last 5 days. Most of late breaking voters are deciding to vote for Maloney, which only makes sense as political independents in the state simply can't stand the national Democratic party right now.
Having said that, Tomblin does have a solid chance of pulling out a win. The Democrats do have a substantial registration edge and control the State Assembly and Senate (and have controlled it since the 1930s). There have only been 2 Republicans elected to the governorship in the state since the Great Depression so it is only natural to think the Democrats have home field advantage. However, George Bush won the state twice and John McCain was victorious in 2008 so Republicans can win statewide and I believe they'll win tomorrow.