The Charleston Daily Mail is endorsing Republican John Raese over Democrat Joe Manchin. It's a "painful choice," says the editorial. "Gov. Joe Manchin is one of the most engaging and effective governors in the state's history. He has tackled many of the state-erected barriers to economic growth - a broken workers' compensation system, uncompetitive tax rates, an unfair legal climate." But: "Leading Democrats have made it clear that if Manchin were sent to Washington, he would be expected to function as part of the team." So the Daily Mail editors say they're left no choice but to endorse Raese, a "level-headed conservative who knows what works and what doesn't."
A new FOX News poll shows Raese leading Manchin 48% to 45%, though Manchin continues to be much more popular than Raese. The governor's favorable rating is 69% (unfavorable rating 24%), while the Republican's favorable rating is only 40% (unfavorable rating 44%). But only 27% of West Virginia voters approve of the job President Obama is doing. During last night's one and only debate of the West Virginia Senate race, Raese tried to get to the right of the gun-toting Gov. Joe Manchin on Obamacare by calling it "pure unadulterated socialism." RCP's Scott Conroy reports:
Raese delivered one of the night's most memorable lines when the topic of health care reform was raised.
"I'd like to repeal every part of it because it is pure unadulterated socialism," Raese said. "It is the worst bill that has ever come out of the United States Senate and House."
Manchin has previously stated that he would like to repeal parts of the health care law, but he stressed in the debate that some aspects of the legislation were important to keep, such as the prohibition on insurers from denying coverage to people who have pre-existing conditions.
"There's a lot of good in the bill that Democrats and Republicans can agree on," Manchin said.
(Hat tip: Erick Erickson)