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United States Senate election in West Virginia, 2012

United States Senate election in West Virginia, 2012

November 6, 2012 (2012-11-06)

Turnout 46.3% (voting eligible)[1]
Nominee Joe Manchin John Raese
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 394,532 237,825
Percentage 60.6% 36.5%

U.S. Senate election results map. Blue denotes counties/districts won by Manchin. Red denotes those won by Raese.

U.S. Senator before election

Joe Manchin

Elected U.S. Senator

Joe Manchin

The 2012 United States Senate election in West Virginia was held on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin won re-election to a first full term.


  • Background 1
  • Democratic primary 2
    • Candidates 2.1
    • Results 2.2
  • General election 3
    • Candidates 3.1
    • Debates 3.2
    • Campaign 3.3
  • Fundraising 4
    • Top contributors 4.1
    • Top industries 4.2
  • Polling 5
  • Results 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Robert Byrd held this seat in the U.S. Senate since 1959, after having served in the House of Representatives since 1953, making him the longest-serving person in Congress. Byrd led his party in the Senate from 1977 to 1989, as Majority Leader or Minority Leader. Afterward, as the most senior Democrat in the Senate, he served as President pro tempore of the Senate whenever his party was in the majority, including at the time of his death.

After Byrd's death, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant initially announced that a special election would be held on the same day as the regular election for the six-year term. However, that special election was rescheduled to 2010 for it to coincide with the 2010 mid-term elections.

Governor Joe Manchin made a temporary appointment of Carte Goodwin to the vacant seat. Goodwin was later replaced by Manchin who won the 2010 special election.

Democratic primary


  • Sheirl Fletcher, former State Delegate and candidate for U.S. Senate in 2008 and 2010[2]
  • Joe Manchin, incumbent U.S. senator[3]


Democratic primary results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joe Manchin (incumbent) 163,891 79.9%
Democratic Sheirl Fletcher 41,118 20.1%
Totals 205,009 100%

General election



One debate took place at Shepherdstown University on October 2, 2012. It included United States Senator Joe Manchin (Democratic), Bob Baber (Mountain), and John Raese (Republican).[7]


Raese has filed a rematch against Manchin. He argues that he has more material to criticize Manchin for. One example is how Manchin lost his long-time endorsement from West Virginians for Life because of his vote against defunding Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.[8] Another example is how he is undecided about whether or not to support Obama's re-election campaign.[9] Senior Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod commented in response, “His concern is about his own political well-being.”[10] In addition, he voted against U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan's Republican budget.[11]

Raese wrote an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette saying about Manchin, "Yes, he'll talk like a conservative and act like he's fiscally responsible to appeal to more moderate voters, but under that outward appearance of a lovable rube is the heart of a tax-and-spend liberal.[9]

Raese has continued to make controversial statements. In April 2012, he equated smoking bans with [13] He has called rocker Ted Nugent, a "patriot" for criticizing President Barack Obama.[14]


Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Joe Manchin(D) $9,467,003 $7,678,708 $1,788,297 $0
John Raese (R) $1,607,740 $1,610,493 $4,679 $0
Source: Federal Election Commission[15]

Top contributors

Joe Manchin Contribution Joe Raese Contribution
Lawyers/Law Firms $670,553 Entertainment industry $176,025
Mining industry $647,548 Leadership PACs $143,190
Electric Utilities $392,100 Retired $109,513
Leadership PACs $366,000 Lawyers/Law Firms $62,069
Health Professionals $287,498 Special Trade Contractors $59,450
Retired $275,750 Health Professionals $54,300
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $272,900 Financial Institutions $52,695
Petroleum Industry $256,150 Real Estate $45,875
Real Estate $228,350 Petroleum Industry $35,900
Lobbyists $200,689 Republican/Conservative $35,357
Source: Center for Responsive Politics[16]

Top industries

Joe Manchin Contribution Joe Raese Contribution
FirstEnergy Corporation $136,950 Greer Industries $124,754
Mylan Laboratories Inc. $127,500 Mountaineer Contractors Inc. $40,900
Mepco LLC $64,400 Senate Conservatives Fund $37,690
Dominion Resources $58,900 Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio & Simon $25,650
Centene Corporation $55,900 Wv Radio $22,550
American Electric Power $55,750 West Virginia Radio Corporation $16,821
Jackson Kelly PLLC $50,825 Polino Contracting $15,500
Drummond Company $49,100 Cleveland Brothers $10,800
Patriot Coal Corporation $48,400 American Financial Group $10,200
Boich Companies $44,200 Senate Majority Fund $10,000
Source: Center for Responsive Politics[17]


Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Manchin (D)
Raese (R)
Other Undecided
R.L. Repass August 22–25, 2012 401 ± 4.9% 66% 27% 7%
R.L. Repass April 25–28, 2012 410 ± 4.8% 74% 22% 4%
Public Policy Polling September 1–4, 2011 708 ± 3.7% 62% 23% 14%
Public Policy Polling April 21–24, 2011 850 ± 3.4% 61% 29% 10%
Public Policy Polling January 20–23, 2011 1,105 ± 2.9% 60% 31% 9%


United States Senate election in West Virginia, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Joe Manchin 394,532 60.55% +7.08%
Republican John Raese 237,825 36.50% -6.90%
Mountain Bob Henry Baber 19,231 2.95% +1.03%
Margin of victory 156,707 24.05% +13.98%
Turnout 651,588 52.79% +9.21%
Democratic hold Swing

Note: The ±% column reflects the change in total number of votes won by each party from the previous (special) election. Neither the vote shares nor the turnout figure account for write-ins. Turnout percentage is the portion of registered voters (1,234,367 as of 10/1/2012)[18] who voted.

See also


  1. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald (February 9, 2013). "2012 General Election Turnout Rates".  
  2. ^ Messina, Lawrence (January 28, 2012). "W.Va. candidates file for Congress, state offices".  
  3. ^ King, Joselyn (January 19, 2012). "Manchin Wants To Stay In Senate".  
  4. ^ "Statewide Results".  
  5. ^ "Mountain Party nominates Johnson, Baber at Sutton convention".  
  6. ^ Catanese, David (January 12, 2012). "Raese is back for a rematch".  
  7. ^
  8. ^ Manchin, Raese face off for Senate again - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather
  9. ^ a b John Raese: Gazette should endorse Manchin - Op-Ed Commentaries - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports
  10. ^ Axelrod: Sen. Manchin Out for ‘Own Political Well-Being’ - ABC News
  11. ^ GOP House budget bill | U.S. Congress Votes Database - The Washington PostThe Washington Post
  12. ^ John Raese Equates Smoking Ban To Hitler Policy
  13. ^ John Raese: Hitler Controversy Over Comparing Smoking Regulations To Nazi Policy Is 'Bull****'
  14. ^ John Raese Calls Ted Nugent A Patriot After Obama Threat (VIDEO)
  15. ^ Candidate Details
  16. ^  
  17. ^  
  18. ^

External links

  • Elections Division at the West Virginia secretary of state
  • Campaign contributions at
  • Outside spending at Sunlight Foundation
  • Candidate issue positions at On the Issues
Official campaign websites
  • Joe Manchin for U.S. Senate
  • John Raese for U.S. Senate
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