President Trump is coming to Wheeling Saturday to campaign for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey. This will be Trump’s second visit to West Virginia in the last five weeks to stump for the Attorney General.
And Morrisey can use the boost.
When I talk to Morrisey—on and off the air—he remains supremely confident in his ability to unseat incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin. Morrisey believes his campaign is picking up momentum and he is counting heavily on Trump supporters to give him the advantage he needs on Election Day.
So far, all the polling shows Manchin is maintaining his lead. Here’s a sampling of the surveys:
The MetroNews Dominion Post West Virginia Poll taken last month has Manchin ahead by eight points, 46 percent to 38 percent. Numbers released last month by Harper Polling have Manchin leading by six points, 47 percent to 41 percent.
The political race rating services all give the advantage at the moment to Manchin. Here is what some of them say:
The Cook Political Report just last week moved the race from “toss up” to “lean D.” Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy said, “I believe the race is in the high single digits. I don’t see Morrisey or Republicans landing any blows, while I think Democrats have damaged Morrisey. Trump does help Morrisey, but it’s unclear how much time he will spend in WV.”
Sabato’s Crystal Ball at one time had the race in the “toss up” category, but moved it to “leans Democratic” back in July, and it has remained there ever since.
Managing editor Kyle Kondik said, “There seems to be wide acknowledgement that Manchin is leading, which is why we have it Leans Democratic. Historically speaking, incumbent senators from the non-presidential party running in midterms win 91 percent of the time.”
However, he acknowledged there is still a long way to go. “I don’t think the race is over by any means. This is one place where the president could really help, and he seems to know it. He is coming yet again for Morrisey later this week, and I suspect he’ll come again.”
Roll Call also has Manchin-Morrisey tilting toward the Democrat, as does Fox News, despite the fact that Trump beat Hillary Clinton in West Virginia 69 percent to 26 percent and Manchin endorsed and campaigned for Clinton.
Nate Silver’s 538, which focuses on polling analysis, is projecting that Manchin has an 89 percent chance of winning, while Morrisey only has an 11 percent chance. Silver has the race as “likely Democrat.”
But as all candidates like to say—whether they are ahead or behind in polls and prognostications—the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.