Updated Tue, Oct 4, 2011 8:19 am
West Virginians head to the polls to vote for governor in a special election viewed as a referendum on either the state's recent leadership or Obama administration policies.
Regional politics also may play a role in today's court-ordered contest. The winner will complete the term of former Gov. Joe Manchin, who is now a U.S. senator.
Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has campaigned as Manchin's heir.
As Senate president, the Democrat filled the vacancy and has helped shape recent policies credited with getting the state through the rough economy.
But GOP nominee Bill Maloney cites how West Virginia still lags far behind in areas such as income.
He and other Republicans say that Tomblin won't stand up to President Barack Obama, who is unpopular in the state.