Democrat Joe Manchin will win re-election to West Virginia Senate seat: NBC News

  • Manchin's victory is a major boon to Democrats, who are struggling to limit their losses in the upper chamber in a year when many incumbents in the party are vulnerable.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks to supporters at a campaign stop ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in Bridgeport, West Virginia, U.S., November 5, 2018.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks to supporters at a campaign stop ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in Bridgeport, West Virginia, U.S., November 5, 2018.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat fighting for his political life in Trump country, will live to see another day in the U.S. Senate. The lawmaker will defeat his Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey, the state's attorney general, NBC News projects.

The victory is a major boon to Democrats, who are struggling to limit their losses in the upper chamber in a year when many incumbents in the party are vulnerable.

And it's a coup for Manchin, who has been battling to persuade voters who delivered President Donald Trump nearly 70 percent of their votes in 2016 to back a Democrat.

Trump's presence was felt deeply in the race. In August, the president descended on Charleston, the state's capital city, to deliver a ringing endorsement of Morrisey and a warning for those who considered voting for his opponent.

"If you vote for Joe Manchin or any other Democrat in November, you're voting for someone who wants to destroy the coal industry," Trump said, according to a report in the local press.

Manchin sought to downplay national issues and avoid the appearance of stymieing the president's agenda. In a dramatic gesture, Manchin voted to confirm the president's second nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The race earned immense national attention thanks to the specter of a Democrat representing one of the nation's most deeply conservative states.

Manchin was favored by public polling headed into the election, although Morrisey narrowed some of the gap in recent weeks.


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