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Democrat Joe Manchin wins re-election in West Virginia Senate race

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WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 16: Sen. Joe Manchin (C) (D-WV) answers questions before a meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on August 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The committee held a closed meeting this morning. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win
McNamee/Getty Images



  • Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has won the Senate race in West
    Virginia.
  • President Donald Trump won the state of West Virginia
    in the 2016 election by more than 40 points against Democratic
    presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has won
the Senate race in West Virginia, multiple outlets have
projected.

The results cap off a long road for Morrisey, who narrowly

edged out
Don Blankenship, a coal baron who served prison
time that could have been a potential catastrophe for Republicans
in the general election.

Still, Morrisey struggled to gain footing early on in the race,
due in part to Manchin’s high level of name recognition in the
state and reputation for being one of the most bipartisan members
of the Senate.


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Republican
Patrick Morrisey is betting that bipartisanship is dead in his
Senate race against Democrat Joe Manchin in deep-red West
Virginia

In the final weeks of the campaign cycle, Morrisey traversed the
state with high-profile Republican names like Donald Trump Jr.,
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Vice President Mike Pence, and one of
the most popular figures in the state: President Donald Trump
himself.

Trump won more than 68 percent of the vote in West Virginia in
the 2016 presidential election, a staggering level of support
that Morrisey looked to capitalize on in his Senate bid.

“Everyone who follows the race knows I’m the conservative
fire who’s going to advance the Trump jobs agenda and Joe
Manchin’s a dishonest Washington liberal, who’s going to empower
the impeach, obstruct, and resist circus in DC,” Morrisey told
Business Insider at an October event in Parkersburg, West
Virginia.

But Manchin stuck to maintaining his reputation for being a
bipartisan worker willing to cross the aisle. Manchin received
help on that front from his Republican colleagues in the Senate
as well when Sens. Johnny Isakson, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio,
and Susan Collins all penned joint op-eds with him in October to
tout his work on various issues.

“The people know who I am and I sure know West Virginia because I
am West Virginia,” Manchin told Business Insider in October. “I
think that’s the difference.”

Manchin was the only Democratic senator to vote for the
embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, sparing him from
visits to the state by a
newly popular GOP attack dog
in Sen. Lindsey Graham.

By securing re-election statewide yet again as a Democrat in one
of the most conservative states in the country, Manchin has
continued to defy the odds. But with Manchin staying the Senate,
Republicans could still have an ally on crucial
issues. Manchin votes in line with Republicans more often
than not, whether it is for judicial nominees who have been a
cornerstone of the White House agenda, or on the confirmation of
key cabinet posts.

But Manchin is still likely to remain an unpredictable
legislator, who party leaders on both sides of the aisle will
look to court on different issues in the years ahead.

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell looks to further
solidify his legacy of
rapidly confirming judicial nominees
, Manchin’s re-election
adds one more potential “yes” vote, even on highly controversial
nominees.

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