Bombshell: PPP puts Raese ahead of Manchin

posted at 12:55 pm on September 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

These days, it’s hard to get shocked by polling results that show Republicans surging in once-safe Democratic constituencies, but the latest survey from PPP in West Virginia manages to do it.  Republican John Raese, given virtually no chance at all to win the Senate race against popular Governor Joe Manchin when he declared his candidacy this summer.  Raese has now just jumped into a lead, albeit within the margin of error, as Manchin collapses:

PPP’s first look at the West Virginia Senate contest finds a very tight race with John Raese up 46-43 on Joe Manchin, a result within the poll’s margin of error.

The contest provides a fascinating choice for voters in the state who love their Democratic Governor but hate the party’s ranks in Washington DC that he would be joining.

Manchin is the second most popular Governor PPP has polled on all year, behind only Bobby Jindal, with a 59/32 approval spread. He breaks almost even with Republicans as 42% of them approve of the job he’s doing with just 44% disapproving. In a highly polarized political climate the list of politicians with that kind of crossover popularity is very short.

At the same time West Virginians couldn’t be much more down on national Democrats. Barack Obama’s approval rating in the state is just 30% with 64% of voters disapproving of him. Even within his own party barely half of voters, at 51%, like the job he’s doing. Support from Republicans (91% disapproval) and independents (73% disapproval) is pretty much nonexistent.

Maybe WV voters are worried that Manchin would become one of Harry Reid’s “pets.”  They may also be reacting to an expanding federal probe into a highway project involving Manchin’s home town of Fairmont.  Subpoenas have been issued to public officials, but the Department of Justice isn’t talking about their targets, despite a series of FOIA requests, probably to avoid being accused of playing politics in an election cycle.  Either way, for a Governor whose approval numbers were in the 70s, falling to 43% and behind a relative novice in a general election is an indication of utter collapse on the way.

Manchin still gets a 59% approval rating from likely voters.  However, in a poll with a 14-point advantage for Democrats in the sample, 57% believe that the Democratic Party has become too liberal, while a plurality of voters (37%) believe the GOP to be “about right.”  A seventeen-point majority wants Republicans to take control of Congress after this election, 54/37.

The obvious takeaway is that West Virginians seem content to have Manchin stay as Governor and send a Republican to the Senate to replace Robert Byrd.  They can have their cake and eat it, too, and they seem inclined to do so.


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Comments

This tells me that a lot of the residents have put down their moonshine for at least a few days and now able to see and think clearly

Kermit on September 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM

This would be sweetness. Replacing another old democrat “Lion of the Senate” with a republican!

ThePrez on September 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Whee!! If Manchin is in trouble, then they’re all in trouble.

Some lying Dem hack like Richard Blumenthal, against Linda McMahon, must be sweating his sheets if he sees these numbers.

ChrisB on September 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM

We should shift our sights from Delaware start focusing on winning this seat. O’Donnell’s got $2 million to work with. Odds are (surprisingly) better for us in West Virginia.

Patrick Ishmael on September 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM

OT:

New SarahPac video. “Tea party”

http://www.conservatives4palin.com/2010/09/governor-palin-tea-party.html

takeamericabackin10 on September 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Huh, funny how an actual competent candidate can lead you to a win instead of being a darling of a few nuts.

Apologetic California on September 21, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Hey Ed, no mention of the total double-digit meltdown of Russ Feingold at PPP/Kos?

Nap time or something?

Bat Chain Puller on September 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Republican John Raese, given virtually no chance at all to win the Senate race against popular Governor Joe Manchin when he declared his candidacy this summer. Raese has now just jumped into a lead, albeit within the margin of error, as Manchin collapses:

……..Delaware repeat (if COD does it right) in 5…..4……3….

PappyD61 on September 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Ed (or anybody in this thread),

Is the West Virginia Senate race one of those where the winner is seated the day after election certification, instead of waiting until January?

If so, great news for the prospects of blocking lame-duck agenda.

HDFOB on September 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Nap time or something?

Bat Chain Puller on September 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

What’s with all the Ed bashing?

Patrick Ishmael on September 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Shift attention to this ASAP and leave O’Dumbbell to her own devices.

Dark-Star on September 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM

We should shift our sights from Delaware start focusing on winning this seat. O’Donnell’s got $2 million to work with. Odds are (surprisingly) better for us in West Virginia.

Patrick Ishmael on September 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM

No, see, this makes too much sense. It is more important to vaporize a RINO like Castle and then spend money on a doomed general election candidate in the interests of some conservative “purity” day that will never arrive in our lifetimes, than to spend money defeating an actual, beatable Democrat in 2010.

ChrisB on September 21, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Nap time or something?

Bat Chain Puller on September 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

What’s with all the Ed bashing?

Very important to know the difference between a bash and a wink.

Bat Chain Puller on September 21, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Shift attention to this ASAP and leave O’Dumbbell to her own devices.

Dark-Star on September 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Yeah, your conservative creds are really showing in that childish comment.

Good news here, the more competitive races the more $$ Dems have to divert from places like DE.

davek70 on September 21, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Good news here, the more competitive races the more $$ Dems have to divert from places like DE.

davek70 on September 21, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Better news – this time the ‘conservative’ candidate isn’t a total fruitcake, and has some actual qualifications besides “I’m not a Dumbocrat.”

Dark-Star on September 21, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Shift attention to this ASAP and leave O’Dumbbell to her own devices.

Dark-Star on September 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Winner winner, chicken dinner. Spend your money not on foolish things, but rather, spend your money on that which satisfies.

Red Cloud on September 21, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Good news here, the more competitive races the more $$ Dems have to divert from places like DE.

davek70 on September 21, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Ah yes, the Delaware distraction. Because right now, it’s the conservative $$ that is being diverted away from winnable races to places like Delaware, which makes people like Russ Feingold and Barbara Boxer very happy.

Red Cloud on September 21, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Must be something about coal country.

A friend of mine in KY put it to me this way:

They have no problem electing Dems to office in Frankfort. That way, their close enough to keep an eye on. But send them to DC? That’s just too far out of range of their squirrel guns.

JohnGalt23 on September 21, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Is the West Virginia Senate race one of those where the winner is seated the day after election certification, instead of waiting until January?

If so, great news for the prospects of blocking lame-duck agenda.

HDFOB on September 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Yes, the winner will be seated as soon as he’s certified… not in January.

Abby Adams on September 21, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Spend your money not on foolish things, but rather, spend your money on that which satisfies.

Red Cloud on September 21, 2010 at 1:10 PM

An especially important idea as the definition of ‘satisfies’ has become increasingly elastic. Having the right letter after one’s name on a ballot is poor satisfaction indeed in the long run.

Dark-Star on September 21, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Apologetic California on September 21, 2010 at 1:02 PM

If Raese can beat Manchin in WV, Crazy Christine can beat the bald-headed pet of Harry Reid. And besides, even if she doesn’t, she’ll be our newest political pundit.

BradSchwartze on September 21, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Red Cloud on September 21, 2010 at 1:11 PM

So there’s only a pool of about 30000 conservative donors (the number of Crazy Christine donors) that can only spend about $67 apiece, and they’re wasting their money on Crazy Christine?

Not every conservative is a broke HA commenter, you know.

BradSchwartze on September 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM

…falling to 43% and behind a relative novice in a general election is an indication of utter collapse on the way.

Raese is a novice at winning elections, but he’s an expert at business. I think that’s more important to people right now.

I’m not surprised by the trend in the polling in WV. It’s a conservative state and a conservative cycle. Manchin is the only Democrat who would have a chance to hold that seat, and hey, if you like your governor, you can keep your governor, but no more Democrat votes for Reid and Obama in the Senate.

forest on September 21, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Guess the coal miners finally saw that 3yr-old vid of Obama promising to destroy their inductry / livelihoods.

rayra on September 21, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Subpoenas have been issued to public officials, but the Department of Justice isn’t talking about their targets, despite a series of FOIA requests, probably to avoid being accused of playing politics in an election cycle.

No, they’re doing this because they are playing politics in an election cycle.

This is Eric Holder’s DOJ we’re talking about here. It’s all about playing politics (see Black Panther case).

INC on September 21, 2010 at 1:23 PM

rayra on September 21, 2010 at 1:22 PM

They noticed. It’s a big reason why Hillary annihilated Obama in the primary (he was scoring in the single digits in the southern coal counties), and he got beat handily in the general by McCain. WV has never liked that guy.

forest on September 21, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Lotta good news lately, Penn, Ohio, WV, Nev, Alaska, etc etc etc…

guess all of us hick gun clinging religious nuts know how to vote too…

go figure…

can’t wait for november

Tim Zank on September 21, 2010 at 1:30 PM

rayra on September 21, 2010 at 1:23 PMcompare and contrast who speaks for america again?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aTf5gjvNvo&feature=related

or
Palin’s new TEA PArty ad….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X67qgNtZPdQ

unseen on September 21, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Manchin has a problem being a well liked Gov.: voters can keep him in has Gov. by voting against him for Senate.

The highway business also plays into that… accountability… but if you are popular and people want you in the elected position you are in, then they aren’t motivated to give you a raise.

The immediate seating is due to the Byrd vacancy, I think. Don’t know about how WV handles such things, but that would be the bet.

ajacksonian on September 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Donated.

Asher on September 21, 2010 at 1:47 PM

The obvious takeaway is that West Virginians seem content to have Manchin stay as Governor and send a Republican to the Senate to replace Robert Byrd. They can have their cake and eat it, too, and they seem inclined to do so.

Ed probably has it pegged. Manchin has a 59% job approval as Governor, yet trails in a Senate race, at least according to PPP. Manchin knows that his state depends on coal, and handled a recent coal-mine disaster in the state very well. There are probably a lot of swing voters who like what Manchin is doing as Governor, and want to keep him home, rather than send him to the Senate and have his arm twisted by Dirty Harry Reid and (up)Chuck Schumer.

WV has been a Democrat-leaning state for decades, but supported the Republican Presidential candidate the last three elections (Bush in 2000 and 2004, McCain in 2008). WV’s other Senator, Jay Rockefeller, has often broken from party lines to support the coal industry, and Byrd had become an iconic “elder statesman” that people trusted and no one dared challenge. It was Byrd who wrote the current 60-vote filibuster rule which allows Senate minorities a form of “veto” over any legislation considered too extreme, and voters in both parties probably respect Byrd for it.

Now that Byrd has passed on, WV voters are hearing all sorts of noise about Cap and Trade, and Obama’s EPA has already made a “rule” on CO2 emissions that is clobbering the coal industry. They very well might want to keep Manchin home to manage the state, and send businessman Raese to the Senate to prevent the Federal Government from killing the state economy while taking West Virginians’ hard-earned money for other states.

Steve Z on September 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Republican John Raese, given virtually no chance at all to win the Senate race…

Where have I heard that kind of thing before. Some Pub wins the primary and is given no chance of winning. Weird. I know I’ve read a similar story like that somewhere.

JellyToast on September 21, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Manchin has a problem being a well liked Gov.: voters can keep him in has Gov. by voting against him for Senate.

The highway business also plays into that… accountability… but if you are popular and people want you in the elected position you are in, then they aren’t motivated to give you a raise.

The immediate seating is due to the Byrd vacancy, I think. Don’t know about how WV handles such things, but that would be the bet.

ajacksonian on September 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Actually, WV law allows the Governor to appoint a replacement for two years, since Byrd died after the WV primary election, but Manchin called for a special election (and pushed a bill through the state legislature) because he thought he could become a Senator two years earlier, instead of having his appointee be the incumbent for two yearsm and possibly have to face him in a primary.

Manchin might be regretting that decision right now…

Steve Z on September 21, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Spend your money not on foolish things, but rather, spend your money on that which satisfies.

Red Cloud on September 21, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Huh. I thought we needed the DE seat to “ensure” a GOP controlled Senate. I guess we don’t. Can’t have it both ways, hypocrites.

fossten on September 21, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Now don’t any of you O’Donnell supports go making any kinds of comparisons here!
Just because another Republican comes from behind and, against impossible unbelievable odds looks like he’s going to beat the Democrat, don’t any of you go thinking it could possibly happen in Delaware!
It Can’t! O’Donnell must lose Delaware! She can’t win and no one is going to let her win so don’t even try getting any encouragement out of yet another “Republican comes from behind” story! It’s not happening in Delaware! So just leave it go! Give it up! Rove said she will lose and Castle refuses to endorse her and everybody knows it’s over so just stop believing, blast it!

JellyToast on September 21, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Not sure why Ed is shocked by this poll. Raese has been inching up steadily.

Missy on September 21, 2010 at 2:32 PM

57% believe that the Democratic Party has become too liberal

That is exactly the feeling throughout the country. (Except for the liberal strongholds)

The Tea Party movement is not the “fringe” trying to move the country right. It’s the culmination of years and years of pent up frustration watching the entire country slowly shift left.

The “fringe” as they call the Tea Party participants would actually be mainstream 30 years ago. That’s how far the country has shifted leftward. Creeping bit by bit.

It’s time for a correction.

ButterflyDragon on September 21, 2010 at 2:51 PM

It is only a bombshell if you have not been paying attention. Don’t have to worry about that here on HA!

txmomof6 on September 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Robert Byrd was a singular figure. West Virginia should be about as red as they come, if not for a legacy belief in the magic of gubmint spending. Eastern TN has the TV, but they don’t elect Democrats!

johnboy on September 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Whoops, “TVA,” not “TV!”

Robert Byrd was a singular figure. West Virginia should be about as red as they come, if not for a legacy belief in the magic of gubmint spending. Eastern TN has the TVA, but they don’t elect Democrats!

johnboy on September 21, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Hey Ed, no mention of the total double-digit meltdown of Russ Feingold at PPP/Kos?

Nap time or something?

Bat Chain Puller on September 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

So many meltdowns, so little time…..

slickwillie2001 on September 21, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Manchin might be regretting that decision right now…
Steve Z on September 21, 2010 at 2:04 PM

My thanks!

And I do believe you are right… this should teach politicians not to try and change the rules as the game is going on for a session: stick with what you agreed to as the weasel way can be very expensive to you.

ajacksonian on September 21, 2010 at 3:31 PM

WV is against Obamacare. Manchin loves Obamacare. John Raese will vote to repeal. That’s what he is campaigning on.

BetseyRoss on September 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

WVers may be Democrats, but they are not Communists . . . or Obamunists . . . which is about the same thing.

WannabeAnglican on September 21, 2010 at 3:48 PM

And I do believe you are right… this should teach politicians not to try and change the rules as the game is going on for a session: stick with what you agreed to as the weasel way can be very expensive to you.

ajacksonian on September 21, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Dems in Massachusetts try the same crap to make sure a Dem would win “Ted Kennedy’s” seat?

Back when Romney was governor, the law said that the Guv had the authority to appoint a US Senator to a seat that became vacant. So they changed the law to require a special election, fearing that Romney would appoint a Repub to John Kerry’s Senate seat if he were elected President.

Fast forward to 2009, Mass has a Dem governor, and Ted Kennedy dies. So the Dems tried to change the law back so that the governor can appoint the US Senator. They failed.

The result: Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).

You’d think they would learn to leave well-enough alone.

UltimateBob on September 21, 2010 at 3:52 PM

It wasn’t the moonshine; it was the Kool-Aid.

Philly on September 21, 2010 at 9:46 PM