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West Virginia Senate seat shifted to ‘safe Republican,’ Manchin to endangered species


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Washington Examiner

The entry of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice into the 2024 race to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin has shifted the key seat to the GOP and set up the Democrat’s likely first-ever election defeat, according to a politician grading site that was the first to declare Joe Biden the winner on election night.

“As West Virginia continues to solidify itself as a red bastion at all levels, Manchin has become the last Democrat standing. And we’re confident that 2024 will mark a historic shift in West Virginia history. We’re moving the West Virginia Senate race to Safe Republican,” declared Elections Daily today.

Manchin has been in political hot water for years, but it has been boiling since Biden became president. Along the way, said the site, he has lost his popularity.

Enter Justice, the popular governor. He is likely to be the beneficiary of the once-blue state’s march into ruby-red Republican MAGA territory. He entered the Senate race last week, joining Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) in the GOP's battle to unseat Manchin.:snip:

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Republicans Aren't Disappearing -- and May Even Be Growing Stronger
Michael Barone

May 5, 2023

Reports of the death of the Republican Party continue to be premature.

You've heard the litany, often from reporters and commentators who never liked Republicans and, lately, from others who can't stomach former President Donald Trump. And they've got something of a point. Republicans have lost four of the last seven presidential elections and won fewer popular votes than Democrats in six of the seven. Republicans are no longer competitive in the nation's largest state, California, which they carried in nine of 10 elections from 1952 to 1988, during what political analyst Sean Trende calls the "Eisenhower alignment."

(Snip)

Of course, if you've been following political demographics more closely than most people do, you know there are countervailing trends. Noncollege white people have been trending Republican since around 2000 and especially since 2016. Noncollege Hispanic people and black people seem to be headed their way, too.

Moreover, as the New York Times' Ross Douthat points out, Republicans have won the popular vote for House in four of the seven elections starting since 2008, and they won a majority of seats in a fifth (because Democrats' 2012 popular vote margin was due to heavy turnout for President Barack Obama in black-majority seats).

But there may be better news for Republicans in the long run.

(Snip)

This future isn't inevitable. Demographic trends can change over a decade, and the 2020-22 period was unusual. Still, those empty office spaces and rising crime rates in Manhattan, Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area suggest that these states are still bleeding House seats and electoral votes to the likes of Florida and Texas.

Over time, politics tends to balance out. Republicans won the combined popular vote for president in the 10 elections of Trende's Eisenhower period, 52% to 45%, average margin, but in the 21 House elections in that stretch, Democrats won the popular vote 53% to 46%.

Since then, in the current ideologically polarized period, things have gotten closer. Over eight presidential elections, Democrats have won the popular vote 49% to 45%, but Republicans edged Democrats in House popular vote 48.2% to 48.1%. Bottom line: Don't look for either party to disappear any time soon.

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