With Republicans’ hopes of winning Delaware’s open Senate seat now dead, the GOP will need to essentially sweep all the competitive races if they are to take control of the Senate. The good news for Democrats is that the lot of West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin has improved slightly in the latest PPP poll of likely voters.

PPP (PDF) (10/9-10)
Joe Manchin (D) 48
John Raese (R) 45
Undecided 7

While the race is still very close, it has been moving in Manchin’s direction. Three weeks ago, when PPP last polled the race, Manchin was trailing John Raese by three points.

Manchin is benefiting from two important factors. First, Manchin remains extremely popular in West Virginia with a remarkable 68 percent of likely voters approving of his job performance as governor.  Not surprisingly, Manchin is going to extreme lengths to distance himself from President Obama, whose job performance among likely voters is a horrible 33 percent.

The other thing helping Manchin is that Democrats are getting more engaged as the election gets closer and it becomes clear to them that this is actually a very close race.