Republican reeling vs. Manchin in key Senate race

Republicans can't seem to figure out how to beat Joe Manchin.On paper, Manchin should be an easy mark in November: an incumbent Democrat in a state where President Donald Trump won two-thirds of the vote in 2016 and remains overwhelmingly popular. Yet Manchin holds a comfortable lead in public and private polling, and interviews with multiple Republican operatives involved in or closely following the race indicate it has slipped out of the top tier of Senate contests.

Republicans are worried that Manchin's opponent, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, has failed to close the gap since he emerged from a nasty primary in May. Morrisey has been blistered by ads from Democrats but has yet to hit the airwaves himself during the general election, and has less than $900,000 in the bank compared to Manchin's $6.2 million war chest.

Republicans aren't giving up: At least five outside groups are on the air attacking Manchin this month, hoping to drag down the Democrat and tilt the race back in their favor before Labor Day. But if Morrisey can't right his ship by then, he risks outside groups and donors turning their attention elsewhere. A loss in West Virginia would be a major blow to the party's hope of increasing its 51-49 majority and would provide a major boost to Democrats' slim chances to flip the chamber."Between the primary and today, there's no question that race has slipped for Republicans," said one GOP strategist involved in Senate races, who requested anonymity to speak candidly

 Read more at Politico

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