Commentary Magazine


Good Luck with That

West Virginia’s Senate seat is slipping away from the Democrats. In a wave election year, the voters there may decide it is more important to keep their governor home and to send to Congress someone to block Obama’s agenda. So Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin is trying to run from and against the Obama agenda:

In an interview on Fox News, Manchin said he is open to repealing the new healthcare law — the signature accomplishment of Democrats during Obama’s time in the White House.

The governor also took to the airwaves to tout his independence, releasing a TV ad in which he’s shown shooting a hole through the cap-and-trade bill favored by Obama and House Democrats.

The moves by the governor come amid new polls that show Manchin trailing Republican John Raese in the West Virginia Senate race. Manchin was once considered a shoo-in for the seat, long held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D), but Raese has surged ahead in polls in part by branding Manchin as a rubber-stamp for the Obama administration.

So far, it is not working. Republican John Raese has a lead of 4.5 points in the poll. It’s not clear that running against Obama is a viable strategy for Democrats, but neither is running on his unpopular agenda. In short, that’s why so many Democrats will lose in three weeks.

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