West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) led wealthy businessman John Raese (R) by 6 points in a newly released automated poll of the state’s competitive Senate race conducted over the weekend by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.
Manchin’s campaign touted the results, which showed him up 50 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. Manchin, a moderate, garnered a 69 percent job approval rating, but he has been hampered by a majority-Democratic electorate that gave President Barack Obama a low 31 percent approval rating and preferred a Republican-controlled Congress 52 percent to 40 percent, the poll showed.
But the Raese campaign argued that the poll painted an inaccurate picture of the contest, particularly given that the PPP survey found that 48 percent of respondents would prefer Manchin to remain governor, with 39 percent saying they wanted him to advance to the Senate. But Raese’s upside-down personal favorability ratings — 42 percent view him favorably, 47 percent unfavorably — could prove problematic.
“This poll only reaffirms what we have been saying all along, people may like West Virginia Joe, but his past support of Obamacare, the failed stimulus, card check and cap and trade give them reservations about Washington Joe,” Raese campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said. “The only thing we know for certain is that this is going to be an extremely close race.”
PPP surveyed 1,246 likely voters Saturday and Sunday. The poll had an error margin of 2.8 points. An automated one-day Rasmussen poll taken Oct. 19 had Raese up 50 percent to 43 percent.
The Raese campaign announced Monday afternoon that Sen. John McCain would campaign for the Republican businessman Tuesday. The Arizona Republican is scheduled to appear at the American Legion Hall in Charles Town, W.Va., at 1:30 p.m. The rally with veterans is set to be preceded by a walk through town to talk with local merchants.
McCain handily beat Obama in West Virginia in the 2008 presidential race.