The bad news continues for Democratic Gov. Ed Manchin's Senate bid in West Virginia.
Republican John Raese now holds a six-point lead on Democratic Governor Joe Manchin in West Virginia’s shockingly competitive U.S. Senate race.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in West Virginia finds Raese with 50% support, while the state’s highly popular governor earns just 44% of the vote. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.
These findings now move this race from a Toss-Up to Leans GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election Senate Balance of Power rankings.
Raese, a businessman and unsuccessful Senate candidate in 2006, first edged ahead of Manchin last week 48% to 46%. The race, which initially seemed safely Manchin’s, now appears to be pitting the governor’s popularity in the state versus President Obama’s unpopularity with West Virginia voters.
UPDATE: Manchin's administration filed suit today against the federal government, challenging the Obama administration's ability to curb mountaintop mining. "Over the past year and a half, we have been fighting President Obama’s Administration’s attempts to destroy our coal industry and way of life in West Virginia," Manchin said in a statement today.
The lawsuit comes at a curious time: Manchin is running to complete the U.S. Senate term of the late Robert C. Byrd and GOP candidate John Raese is trying to link him to Obama at every turn.
Manchin denied that his political campaign had anything to do with the lawsuit, which he said has been in the works since April. Byrd died in June.
"I'm a governor first. That's my first and foremost job," Manchin said.
The governor invoked Byrd's legacy during a news conference at the Capitol. He pulled out a copy of the U.S. Constitution and quoted the 10th Amendment, which deals with states' powers. Byrd was well known for carrying a copy of the Constitution and quoting from it.