Sept. 24, 2010
 
Campaign 2010 Analysis: Joe Manchin's Third Negative Ad
 
By Huntingtonnews.net Staff
 
Governor Joe Manchin is raising eyebrows across the state among friends and foes alike for his harshly negative attack ads against John Raese--especially so soon into their fall campaign for the unexpired term of the late Robert Byrd's U.S. Senate seat.
 
Many West Virginians in both parties have expressed concern that Manchin would engage in a negative ad campaign so different from his good guy image. What does it mean when the man we've seen for over five years as Governor hugging senior citizens and giving commencement addresses is now seen approving a slash and burn campaign against his opponent?
 
"The real disconnect was caused by Manchin himself with that first of these three negative ads," said Jack Ellis, HNN's chief political analyst. "In the first ad of the fall campaign, Manchin was seen looking into the camera in a close-up, chastising Raese for ads critiquing the Governor's views in favor of Obamacare."
 
"But then in the second and third ads, Manchin goes far more negative than anything Raese has done," said Ellis. "There's a significant degree of hypocrisy here by the Governor, and that's not lost on the voters."
 
The third ad Ellis references features UMWA leader Cecil H. Roberts vouching for Manchin and criticizing Raese's role as a limestone and coal mine owner. The ad is particularly harsh towards Raese's Greer Industries, despite the company receiving several safety awards by none other than the Manchin Administration.
 
"This is a desperate move by Manchin in a race that shows him trailing now, make no mistake about it," said Ellis. "Voters that might be moved by an ad featuring the UMWA's Cecil Roberts are a sub-group of voters who should already be nailed down and a part of Manchin's base."
 
"So running this ad at this point in the campaign looks like Manchin is having trouble even securing the most basic parts of his core group of voters," said Ellis. "That has to be unsettling to Manchin fans across the state. I mean, you'd think Manchin would have already nailed down his base by now."
 
"But the truth is from all I'm hearing that Raese is making inroads in both parties, all over the state," said Ellis. "So Joe may need to consolidate his base after all. If he doesn't, this could become an outright rout by Raese when you consider how far he's come already in this race."



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