West Virginia Race Close After Joe Manchin, John Raese Win Primary Elections
by Steven Ertelt
August 31, 2010
Charleston, WV (LifeNews.com) — The West Virginia race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late pro-abortion Robert Byrd is close now. After weeks of pro-life Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin leading by huge margins, pro-life businessman John Raese has closed the gap to make it a competitive contest.
Although both candidates are pro-life, the race could determine whether pro-life Republicans or pro-abortion Democrats run the Senate.
That has a huge bearing on whether Congress continues promoting President Barack Obama’s pro-abortion agenda and approve his pro-abortion judges for the Supreme Court and other courts.
The latest statewide telephone survey of likely voters by Rasmussen Reports shows Manchin attracts 48% of the vote while Raese earns 42% from West Virginia voters.
Just after state legislators officially approved a special Senate election this year to replace Byrd, Manchin led Raese by a 51% to 35% margin. The latest numbers prompted Rasmussen to move the race from its Solid Democratic category to its Leans Democratic one — meaning Raese has a better chance to win now than he did before.
Both Manchin and Raese pick up 67% support from their respective parties following Saturdays 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 still earns high reviews from voters for his job as governor. Seventy percent approve of his job performance, which includes 36% who strongly approve and 34 percent 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 Manchins job," Rasmussen notes. "Perhaps one explanation for this divide is that among those voters who Somewhat Approve of Manchins performance, 64% Strongly Disapprove of President Obamas performance."
That’s important because voters in West Virginia are more critical of Obama than voters on the national level. Just 29% in West Virginia approve of Obamas performance, while 70% disapprove.
Although West Virginians for Life has not made a general election endorsement, the pro-life group gave Raese a strong endorsement in the primary election.
Karen Cross, the president of the West Virginia pro-life group, said the pro-life movement needed a strongly pro-life senator to replace Byrd, who compiled an extensive pro-abortion record in Congress.
"We must have strong pro-life candidates in both parties to assure us of having a good pro-life winner in November," said Cross.
"John Raese is a strong pro-life candidate. He has turned in a 100% candidate questionnaire, including the addendum on the Obamacare issue," Cross continued. "He has been pro-life and a supporter of ours for many years. We have always endorsed him in the past. We believe that he deserves our endorsement."
Related web sites:
West Virginians for Life – https://www.wvforlife.org
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