Manchin’s Challenges

After Saturday’s election I have had time to reflect on the forthcoming November election while completing a driving vacation.

You may recall a Rasmussen survey in July where seventy-one percent (71%) of West Virginia voters approved of the job Governor Manchin is doing as governor, while 28% disapproved. 

The same report found that only 32% of the state’s voters approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president after receiving 43% of the state’s votes in the 2008 Presidential Election.  Rasmussen reported in July – note July – that Sixty-seven percent (67%) disapprove.  According to the report this is a higher level of criticism in West Virginia than results found nationally in the Rasmussen Reports.

Therein lays one of the three challenges facing Governor Manchin in the November election. 

The first challenge is apathy among West Virginia voters.  Early numbers says only 12% voted Saturday.  It is likely everyone expected Manchin to be successful.  If that is the case he has a serious problem.  Elections are won on turnout.

Secondly, President Obama will be a drag on Governor Manchin.  Just look at the way West Virginians viewed Barack Obama in July.  Manchin must find a way to disconnect himself from the policies of Obama – even those he previous thought might be of value to our State.

Third, the spending record of John Raese is well known.  You can bet within days candidate Raese will be up with radio and television ads defining Governor Manchin.  Even though Manchin is viewed favorably by voters this can be dangerous.

All one has to do is look at recent primary elections across the country to see these are not normal times. 

Television ads, image building and other modern campaign techniques carry the day in normal times.

The winner in this Senate race will be determined by turnout.

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