Moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin fended off his Republican challenger in West Virginia Tuesday night, keeping his Senate seat in Democrats’ hands despite the conservative tilt of the state.
Manchin led Republican Patrick Morrisey 51 percent to 44 percent shortly after 9 p.m. ET when CNN and NBC called the race.
The Democratic senator looked to have a tough race heading into the cycle since Trump won the state by 41 points in 2016. But while Republicans avoided a nomination disaster when scandal-plagued coal baron Don Blankenship lost the primary, nominating Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) over Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) wasn’t helpful to GOP hopes. Morrisey hailed from New Jersey and had other baggage.
Manchin was expected to win and led for the entirety of the race, though at some points it was a close contest. Manchin did more than arguably any other Senate Democrat to avoid antagonizing Trump, including being the only Democratic senator who voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.