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West Virginia Senate - Raese vs. Manchin


Joe Manchin

Joe Manchin (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

John Raese

John Raese (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

West Virginia Snapshot

RCP Ranking:
2012 Key Races:
President | Governor | WV-3

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

Governor (Special)
2010: Senate | WV-1 | WV-3
2008: President | Governor | Senate
2006: Senate | WV-1
2004: President | Governor

Polling Data

PollDateSampleManchin (D)Raese (R)Spread
Final Results----60.636.5Manchin +24.1
PPP (D)9/1 - 9/4708 LV6223Manchin +39
PPP (D)4/21 - 4/24850 RV6129Manchin +32
PPP (D)1/20 - 1/231105 RV6031Manchin +29

Race Analysis

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. Since then, it has elected almost exclusively Democrats to the Senate and House, although it has moved toward Republicans at the presidential level in recent years.

In 2010, voters elected Gov. Joe Manchin, a popular social conservative who fits the state well, to replace legendary Sen. Robert Byrd.  Manchin now has to run again for a full term.  However, given his relatively conservative voting record, as well as his strong victory against the same opponent in a bad Democratic year like 2010, he starts out in a strong position.