Though West Virginia voted Republican in recent presidential elections, Democrats have been expected to maintain the Senate seat once held by Robert Byrd ever since the popular Democratic governor, Joe Manchin, announced he would seek the seat.
But now the seat may be back in doubt, with a new poll by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showing that the unpopularity of national Democrats in the state was weighing on Manchin, and that the Republican John Raese had taken a 46 percent to 43 percent lead, which is within the margin of error. The poll finds that President Obama's approval rating in the state is a mere 30 percent, with 64 percent disapproving.
Despite Manchin's 42% approval rating with Republicans he's getting only 14% of their votes. And in spite of a +8 approval spread with independents, he trails Raese 56-30 with them. Raese also leads 47-41 with another key group- the Democrats that disapprove of Obama.
The pollster cautions that this result is at odds with most polls showing Manchin ahead, and suggests waiting to see if other polls confirm it.
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