Rasmussen Poll: Dem Manchin Leads By 7 Points In WV-SEN Race

The new Rasmussen poll of the West Virginia special Senate election shows Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin maintaing his lead against Republican businessman John Raese, in the race to succeed the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd.

The numbers: Manchin 50%, Raese 43%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from two weeks ago, Manchin led by a slightly narrower 50%-45% margin. The TPM Poll Average gives Manchin a lead of 49.8%-41.3%.

Manchin’s candidacy gives Democrats their strongest possible candidate, with him as a popular governor in a state that has been trending to the Republicans. His challenge, of course, is for his own personal brand as a West Virginia Democrat to succeed against an anti-Obama tide — and so far, at least, it’s working out for him.From the pollster’s analysis:

Manchin is highly regarded by voters in the state, but the West Virginia electorate right now is highly critical of President Obama and the national Democratic agenda.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters in the state approve of the job Manchin is doing as governor, while just 30% disapprove.

But only 34% approve of the president’s job performance. Sixty-four percent (64%) disapprove.