Why Joe Manchin Is Drawing Top-Tier GOP Challengers

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

David Byler, RealClearPolitics
Anyone who follows West Virginia politics knows that Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is well-liked by constituents. In 2012, he won re-election by 24 percentage points while President Obama lost the state by 27. He bested his opponent by 10 points during the Republican wave of 2010 (winning a special election to succeed Robert Byrd, who died in office), and before that he won the governorship twice. Despite Donald Trump’s 42-point victory in the Mountain State in 2016, handicappers at the Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate the 2018 West Virginia Senate race as…