The new WSJ Weekend had an interesting story about how Gov. Manchin is having a rough time fending off his Senate opponent. This election is one of the most nationalized I have witnessed–perhaps ever. Snip:
In a poll released Tuesday by Democratic Public Policy Polling, Mr. Manchin was behind Mr. Raese by three points, yet had an approval rating of 59%. In a Rasmussen poll released Monday, Mr. Manchin had a seven-point edge over Mr. Raese compared to a 15 point lead in August.
In West Virginia, losing Democratic control of the Senate seat held by Sen. Robert Byrd for more than 50 years until his June death would be a big blow to the party and until recently, unthinkable by many here.
Mr. Manchin’s unexpected hurdles show that Democrats are navigating difficult terrain as they defend their Senate majority. The party’s prospects have improved in some states, such as Delaware, where GOP voters last week nominated a candidate dogged by financial questions. But polls suggest that the party is losing ground in several other states as well, among them Wisconsin, Connecticut and Ohio.
In West Virginia, where traditionally conservative Democratic voters outnumber registered Republicans two-to-one, recent polls show the president’s approval hovering around 30%, among the lowest in the nation.
Both Republicans and Democrats say national issues are casting a shadow over Mr. Manchin, a two-term governor who would keep his job if he lost. “I think this election is turning out to be a pure referendum on the Obama administration,” said Mike Stuart, chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party.
Update: Politico reports more bad news for Manchin.