By Matthew Geiger | West Virginia
71 Republic has called Democrat Joe Manchin as the winner of the West Virginia Senate race at 9:10 pm. Manchin leads the race by roughly 7%. Manchin acquired the seat in 2010 and won reelection easily in 2012. He has since been one of the more moderate Democrats in the Senate, voting in agreement with President Trump roughly 60% of the time.
Although West Virginia is a staunchly conservative state, it only recently became Republican, with the election of Shelly Capito in 2015 being the first GOP Senator from WV since the 50’s. Manchin’s challenger, Republican Patrick Morrisey, won a brutal three-way primary to become the Republican nominee back in may. Libertarian Rusty Hollen is also a candidate in this race.
The central issue of the campaign is the coal industry, which is vital to the West Virginian economy. Manchin was a significant vote for Justice Kavanaugh confirmation, helping to send him to the Supreme Court. Between 2005 and 2010, Manchin was the Governor of West Virginia and he is well liked throughout the state for his independent streak.
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