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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

W.Va. Senate hopeful Joe Manchin has one problem: That pesky 'D' after his name


Former President Bill Clinton at a campaign rally for Governor Joe Manchin
From The Washington Post:

In any other year, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin would be a lock to win his race for Senate. He's as popular as almost any politician in America, with an approval rating around 70 percent. Even his opponents concede he's done a good job.

If that weren't enough, his opponent, John Raese, is a millionaire heir who faces questions about just how committed he is to West Virginia. His wife is registered to vote in Palm Beach, Fla., where they own a home, and his daughters go to school there.

His policies might be problematic as well - in one of the poorest states in the nation, Raese advocates for doing away with the federal minimum wage. And he has a favorite joke that may not exactly resonate in these difficult times: "I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it."

In any other year - like, say, 1984, 1988 and 2006, when Raese lost races for statewide office - he would not be much of an obstacle for someone like Manchin.

But this year Manchin has one problem he can't fix. "There's not much wrong with him," said John Jenks, at a Raese event on Wednesday in this central West Virginia town, "it's just that he's a Democrat."

That little fact has turned the race to replace Sen. Robert Byrd (D) from a coronation of Manchin into the one of the most competitive races in the country, with both parties running nearly constant campaign commercials to win an election that could determine which party controls the Senate.

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