If you’ve been following the race for United States Senate in West Virginia between Gov. Joe Manchin and John Raese, you’ve probably heard about the latest poll from Public Policy Polling that shows:
- Manchin: 50%
- Raese: 44%
- Undecided: 6%
The problem here is, once again, the details of the polling. Below is the party ID breakdown from the last four public polls for which the information is available.
- Public Policy Polling (Oct. 25): 55/35/11
- Rasmussen (Oct. 20): 48/35/17
- Public Policy Polling (Oct. 12): 55/33/12
- Rasmussen (Oct. 6): 45/38/17
- 2008 Exit Poll: 48/34/19
- 2006 Exit Poll: 51/32/16
- 2004 Exit Poll: 50/32/18
As you can see, there is reason to take this poll with a grain of salt, much like the last poll that Public Policy Polling produced in this race. To believe this, you would have to believe that the Democratic Party’s base is motivated within the state to levels in hasn’t been within the last three cycles.
Rasmussen, which has produced a seemingly accurate methodology in its polling in this race compared to past years, shows Raese leading by seven points. They’re likely to poll this race again this week. Public Policy Polling will as well.
And for a guy that supposedly has a six point lead, Manchin isn’t acting like it. He is telling West Virginians that he may not support Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) for Majority Leader and wouldn’t endorse Barack Obama for re-election in 2012 and is still trying to distance himself from ObamaCare, which he is on record supporting. Those are not statements would be made by someone pulling away with a lead.
Still, Manchin is very popular in West Virginia and there is reason to believe that this race is competitive, but Public Policy Polling is presenting a distorted view of the race.