The new Rasmussen poll
of the West Virginia special Senate election gives Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin a lead of only five points against Republican businessman John Raese, in the race to replace the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd.
The numbers: Manchin 50%, Raese 45%. The survey of likely voters has a Â±4.5% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from a week and a half ago, Manchin led by 48%-42%. The TPM Poll Average
gives Manchin a lead of 49.7%-40.7%.
The pollster's analysis notes that Manchin remains very popular as governor, with a 67% approval rating. On the other hand: "Manchin is running in a state hard hit by the bad economy and where disapproval of President Obama is even higher than it is nationally."