Democrat Joe Manchin re-elected to Senate in West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin scored re-election to the Senate in West Virginia on Tuesday, defeating his Republican challenger and keeping a Democratic hold in a state President Trump won by a landslide in 2016.

Manchin defeated West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in a race watched closely by political observers. Trump won the state by more than 42 percentage points two years ago.

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Manchin, 71, was the only Democrat to break from his party in voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court -- after it was apparent Kavanaugh would be confirmed.

Manchin won 49.7 percent of the vote compared to Morrisey's 46.2 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Manchin, a conservative Democrat, ran ads during the campaign that sought to highlight his independence and support for the Second Amendment.

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Morrisey, the two-term attorney general and a staunch supporter of Trump, touted himself as a true conservative while his campaign accused Manchin of being "a dishonest Washington liberal who only acts bipartisan around election day ..."  Manchin, meanwhile, was critical of Morrisey's New Jersey roots and his past lobbying ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Manchin, his voice cracking from a two-day motorcycle ride across the state Sunday and Monday to promote his campaign, told supporters in his victory speech: "You made history tonight. This is truly a win for West Virginia.

He continued: "I never expected this race to be the national race it turned out to be. I never expected President Trump to come to this state as much as he did, sending Vice President (Mike) Pence, sending his family time after time after time. And you stood tall. What West Virginia said loud and clear tonight: Mr. President, we want our senator, not your senator."

Manchin went a step further, urging a stop to "this absolute toxic rhetoric that's going on in this country. We've got to bring people together. Mr. President, I want you to be the president of the United States, not the president of the divided states."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.