WTF? Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Not Sure If He’ll Vote for Obama or RomneyPosted: April 20, 2012
From The Boston Globe:
In a statement Friday, the West Virginia lawmaker said he had “some real differences” with both leaders, finding fault with Obama’s energy and economic policies while questioning whether Romney could understand the challenges facing ordinary people.
“I strongly believe that every American should always be rooting for our president to do well, no matter which political party that he or she might belong to,” Manchin said. “With that being said, many West Virginians believe the last 3 1/2 years haven’t been good for us, but we’re hopeful that they can get better.”
The Globe writer has the nerve to call Manchin “moderate.”
Manchin, one of the more moderate Senate Democrats, has broken with his party on several issues as he seeks re-election this year. His state has backed the Republican candidate in the last three presidential elections, and Obama did not fare well in 2008. Obama lost to GOP nominee Sen. John McCain, 56-43 percent, and was overwhelmed by Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary, losing 67-26 percent.
Last time I checked Hillary Clinton was a Democrat and a more liberal one than Obama, so I guess West Virginians are capable of voting Democratic.
Manchin told the National Journal (NJ) that he will vote for the person his constituents want, (which right now looks like it will be Romney says the NJ), but he has concerns about Romney’s support for the Ryan budget because the folks in WV might not like losing their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But he doesn’t like Obama’s energy policies. Whatever happened to politicians showing leadership?
Manchin’s position echoes the stance he took during his 2010 special election campaign to serve out the term of the late Sen. Robert Byrd. He declined ahead of that election to endorse a second term for Obama or to say if he would vote for Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to remain majority leader.
If Manchin in fact votes based on which candidate most of his constituents embrace, he will likely cast his ballot for Romney. Obama lost West Virginia by 13 points in 2008 and remains unpopular there. While Romney’s wealth, Mormonism, and views on entitlement reform may not be a perfect fit in a state that remains relatively poor, Protestant, and dependent on federal spending, Obama probably will not take the state….
The share of voters who split their ballots between a presidential candidate and a Senate candidate has steadily declined since 1960. It is now common for more than 80 percent of voters who approve of a president’s performance to back the Senate nominee from the same party, a National Journal analysis of competitive races since 2004 found. Similarly, more than 80 percent of voters who disapprove of a president’s performance tend to support the Senate candidate from the other party, according to the analysis. That is Manchin’s challenge.
I’m guessing the Obama campaign’s reaction to Manchin’s up front announcement that he’ll likely vote for Romney is going to be a bit of a challenge too. Has Manchin ever heard of “The Chicago Way?” I don’t recall even Ben Nelson ever going so far as to publicly announce he would vote for the Republican presidential candidate.