Blankenship said he would run in the general election as the Constitution Party nominee. But he would need to overcome a “sore loser” law in West Virginia that prevents failed candidates in a main-party primary from refiling to run in the general election under another party’s banner.
Blankenship said he’s prepared to challenge that law in court if needed. If he’s successful, his move that could hurt the GOP’s prospects of unseating Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin in November.
I think it is highly unlikely that Blankenship would be successful in overturning West Virginia’s sore loser law, but I think he’d still be able to mount a write-in campaign if he’s unsuccessful.
The best critique of such laws is Michael Kang’s article, Sore Loser Laws and Democratic Contestation.