The new Rasmussen poll of the West Virginia special Senate election shows a potential close race, with Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin leading Republican businessman John Raese by only six points. And if this race is indeed close, a possible cause would be President Obama’s unpopularity in a state that has been trending Republican.
The numbers: Manchin 48%, Raese 42%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. In the previous poll from late July, Manchin led by 51%-35%.
The TPM Poll Average gives Manchin a lead of 49.5%-38.5%.
From the pollster’s analysis:
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.