Unlikely Voter

Poll Analysis and Election Projection

West Virginia creeping toward a tie

I’ve asked Public Policy Polling on Twitter to please poll the West Virginia Senate race, but until someone else acts we’re stuck with just Rasmussen.

But at least we have a new Rasmussen out, marking the third straight gain for Republican John Raese over Democrat Joe Manchin.

Rasmussen’s first poll made the race look uninteresting, with Manchin up 16 and appearing to run away. But Raese has gained 10 points of support since, while Manchin has treaded water. As a result, the lead is now down to 50-45 (MoE 4.5), cutting Manchin’s lead probability to 71%.

Manchin still has a tremendous favorability advantage though, being at 70(!)/29/1 to Raese’s mere mortal 54/37/9. But if this race turns on Barack Obama, already unpopular even among Democrats in Appalachia, Manchin’s personal popularity might not matter.

It would be odd, though, for a race to turn on national issues, with the local matters and the personal candidates not mattering. That would truly turn conventional wisdom on its head, but that just might be what happens in a wave year.

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