Despite it being a bad year for Democrats nationally, Democratic Governor Joe Manchin is still extremely popular in West Virginia. It was assumed because of his high popularity he would win the Senate Special election easily, but the latest polling from PPP indicated the race is very tight–showing in fact a small lead for Republican John Raese.

PPP (PDF) (9/18-19)
Joe Manchin (D) 43
John Raese (R) 46
Undecided 10

There is probably no Democrat running right now being more dragged down by his party than Manchin. An impressive 59 percent of voters approve of his job as governor, but the problem for Manchin is that 64 percent of voters disapprove of Obama’s job as president, and by a margin of 54 percent to 37 percent, voters in the sate would like to see Republicans control Congress. Voters will have to decide what they think important, how much they like Manchin, or how much they hate Congressional Democrats.

There has been surprisingly little polling of this race so far. The only other recent poll out there is one from Rasmussen showing Raese at 43 percent, Manchin at 5o.

The surprise upset by Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Republican primary seemed to move taking over the Senate completely out of reach for Republicans, but if they have a real chance pull off a win in West Virginia, there might be a very narrow path for them.