Standing in stark contrast to a poll last week (showing Joe Manchin with a 22-point lead), the latest Rasmussen Reports survey of the WVa Senate race shows him with a bare 6-point lead over GOP choice John Raese, 48-42%.
It's the same story we're hearing in Pa -- Obama's poor approval rating is weighing down the Democrat, and there's more enthusiasm among the GOP base than the Dem one. WVa is a heavily Democratic state, but in WVa, Obama has some of his worst numbers.
The survey of 500 likely voters was conducted Saturday and has a 4.5% MoE. (Toplines here.)
The latest numbers move the West Virginia race from Solid Democratic to Leans Democratic in the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power Rankings.
Manchin still earns high reviews from voters for his job as governor. Seventy percent (70%) approve of his job performance, which includes 36% who Strongly Approve and 34% who Somewhat Approve.
However, there’s a gap in support for the governor’s Senate run between those who Strongly Approve of his performance and those who Somewhat Approve. While Manchin holds a dominant lead among voters who Strongly Approve of his performance as governor, the race is a virtual tie among those who Somewhat Approve of Manchin’s job.
Perhaps one explanation for this divide is that among those voters who Somewhat Approve of Manchin’s performance, 64% Strongly Disapprove of President Obama’s performance.
Overall, voters in West Virginia are more critical of the President than voters on the national level as measured in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Just 29% in West Virginia approve of Obama’s performance, while 70% disapprove.
Both Manchin and Raese pick up 67% support from their respective parties following Saturday’s primaries. Those numbers represent an 11-point jump in support from Republicans for Raese and an 11-point decrease in Democratic support for Manchin. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party in the state, Raese holds a 45% to 40% edge.
Manchin/Raese. TPM graphic