With just 3 weeks until midterm elections, every toss up race will translate into a critical win or loss for Democrats and Republicans. One of the races that's being closely followed is in West Virginia, where Democratic Governor Joe Manchin is competing against Republican businessman John Raese to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the late Senator Robert Byrd. Categorizing the race as one that "has gotten very, very close" Larry Sabato, political analyst at UVA's Center for Politics, thinks both candidates are in competitive positions heading into election day.
Governor Manchin will welcome President Clinton to West Virginia on Monday, and spoke to Fox News a day ahead of the high profile drop in. While Manchin hopes to get a boost in the polls from the presidential visit, he also remains confident about his current standing with West Virginia voters. The latest Real Clear Politics average puts Raese 5 points ahead of Manchin, a substantial lead by many accounts considering Manchin won his second term as Governor just 2 years ago with 70% of the vote. Manchin rebuked claims that the race is a referendum on President Obama, while at the same time reiterating he's not a "rubber stamp" for the Administration.
When asked about a "GOP Casting Call" for a political ad that has since been pulled by his opponent, Manchin said West Virginia residents don't deserve to be typecast by the Raese campaign, and described residents of the state as "salt of the earth" hard working people. Earlier this week, the NRSC said the language in the casting call came from the casting agency hired for the project.
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