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West Virginia Senate Special Election - Raese vs. Manchin

Candidates

Joe Manchin

Joe Manchin (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

John Raese

John Raese (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

West Virginia Snapshot

RCP Average:
RCP Ranking:
2010 Key Races:
WV-1 | WV-3

----------PAST KEY RACES----------


2008:
President | Governor | Senate
2006: Senate | WV-1
2004: President | Governor

Polling Data

PollDateSampleManchin (D)Raese (R)Spread
Final Results----53.543.4Manchin +10.1
RCP Average10/30 - 10/31--50.546.0Manchin +4.5
Rasmussen Reports10/31 - 10/31750 LV5046Manchin +4
PPP (D)10/30 - 10/311676 LV5146Manchin +5

All West Virginia Senate Special Election - Raese vs. Manchin Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
West Virginia Senate Special Election - Raese vs. Manchin
50.5Manchin (D)+4.5
46.0Raese (R)

Race Analysis

11/2/10 -- Manchin is ahead, but it is worth noting that both Rasmussen and PPP -- the only two pollsters in here -- understated McDonnell's victory margin in neighboring VA in '09.  Still, the trendlines don't favor Raese.

10/30/10 -- This race has been severely under-polled, but the two polls agree that Governor Manchin has a lead, albeit not an overwhelming one.

10/12/10 -- PPP sees the race closing, although their writeup indicates that this is mostly a function of an increasingly Democratic electorate.  Regardless, this race looks like it is going down to the wire.

10/8/10 -- More polls show Manchin behind, now dipping into the low 40s.  He's in deep trouble.  There may be a surge for Raese going on right now that Manchin will equal in coming weeks, but he's going to have to start turning things around quickly.

9/28/10 -- After sporting a significant lead in the early polling, Gov. Manchin's lead has dwindled away.  He now trails Raese in two polls.

Manchin's problem is that voters like the way he's performing as Governor, but don't want to give another vote in the Senate for the Obama Administration.  Unfortunately for him, there's a way for voters to do just that -- by voting for Raese.  This is increasingly reminiscent of Kerry/Weld in Massachusetts -- voters liked Weld and didn't really like Kerry, but decided to keep Weld as Governor and send Kerry back to Washington.

----------Race Preview---------

Like Kentucky, West Virginia is technically part of the 13 original colonies by way of its initial attachment to Virginia. Unlike Kentucky though, which was separated from Virginia after the first Congress, it took West Virginia until 1863 to achieve independent status. When the Civil War arrived, West Virginians no longer needed the consent of the mother state to break off, and so 55 counties formed the state of Kanawha -- named after the Kanawha River -- a month later it was renamed "West Virginia," and was subsequently admitted to the Union.

The state initially leaned toward the Republican Party, but during the Great Depression, the arrival of the United Mine Workers caused a re-alignment in the state. Since then, it has elected almost exclusively Democrats to the Senate and Congress, although it has moved toward Republicans at the presidential level.

Robert Byrd, who entered Congress during the first Eisenhower Administration, died earlier this year. Although West Virginia law seemingly declared that the election to replace Byrd would not be held until November of 2012, the West Virginia Legislature moved that election up to 2010. Democrats nominated Governor Joe Manchin, a popular social conservative who fits the state well. Republicans turned to businessman John Raese, who narrowly lost a race to then-Governor Jay Rockefeller in 1984 before losing to Byrd by over 30 points in 2006. Raese’s strategy will be to spend freely and run hard against the Obama administration, trying to portray Manchin as another vote for the Obama agenda. 

Polling Data

PollDateSampleManchin (D)Raese (R)Spread
Final Results----53.543.4Manchin +10.1
RCP Average10/30 - 10/31--50.546.0Manchin +4.5
Rasmussen Reports10/31 - 10/31750 LV5046Manchin +4
PPP (D)10/30 - 10/311676 LV5146Manchin +5
Rasmussen Reports10/26 - 10/26750 LV4946Manchin +3
PPP (D)10/23 - 10/241246 LV5044Manchin +6
FOX News/POR-Rasmussen10/23 - 10/231000 LV4648Raese +2
Rasmussen Reports10/19 - 10/19750 LV4350Raese +7
FOX News/POR-Rasmussen10/16 - 10/161000 LV4548Raese +3
Rasmussen Reports10/12 - 10/12750 LV4649Raese +3
Marshall Univ/Orion Strategies (D)10/11 - 10/12450 LV4838Manchin +10
CNN/Time10/8 - 10/12783 LV4444Tie
PPP (D)10/9 - 10/101247 LV4845Manchin +3
Rasmussen Reports10/5 - 10/5750 LV4450Raese +6
FOX News/POR-Rasmussen10/2 - 10/21000 LV4348Raese +5
Rasmussen Reports9/27 - 9/27750 LV4648Raese +2
Rasmussen Reports9/19 - 9/19750 LV5043Manchin +7
PPP (D)9/18 - 9/191397 LV4346Raese +3
Rasmussen Reports9/8 - 9/8500 LV5045Manchin +5
Rasmussen Reports8/29 - 8/29500 LV4842Manchin +6
Rasmussen Reports7/22 - 7/22500 LV5135Manchin +16