Joe Manchin’s “D” problem

A few days ago I posted a video of Joe Manchin’s over-the-top ad that you would have never guessed came from a Democrat.  Interesting story in the Post yesterday about how Manchin’s party is the only thing holding him back from an easy victory.  When you consider how amazingly vulnerable his opponent appears to be, it really is surprising this is such a close race:

In any other year, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin would be a lock to win his race for Senate. He’s as popular as almost any politician in America, with an approval rating around 70 percent. Even his opponents concede he’s done a good job.

If that weren’t enough, his opponent, John Raese, is a millionaire heir who faces questions about just how committed he is to West Virginia. His wife is registered to vote in Palm Beach, Fla., where they own a home, and his daughters go to school there.

His policies might be problematic as well – in one of the poorest states in the nation, Raese advocates for doing away with the federal minimum wage. And he has a favorite joke that may not exactly resonate in these difficult times: “I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it.”

It’ s one thing to be able charge that your opponent in Congress really lives in Washington, but when your opponent for governor is clearly living in another state, that ought to be a slam dunk win.  I do think Manchin will pull this one out, but certainly says something that this race is so close.  I also think it’s probably more evidence of WV trending Republican at more than just Presidential voting level.

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