Democrat Joe Manchin has beaten back a strong challenge from Republican John Raese in the West Virginia Senate race.
Manchin's coalition is drawn from Democrats, women, adult over 50 and voters earning less than $50,000 per year. Democrats accounted for 42 percent of statewide voters, while Republicans made up 35 percent of the electorate and independents comprised 24 percent.
Independents tilted toward Manchin by a 49 to 45 percent margin, a big shift from the national trend, where this group strongly backs the GOP.
Manchin defeated Raese despite strongly negative views of President Obama in the Mountain state: just 13 percent said their vote was in favor of Obama, while 46 percent say it was against the 44th president. Four in 10 say Obama was not a factor in their vote. And fully 69 percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president.
Source: Exit poll conducted by Edison Media Research for the National Election Pool, The Washington Post and other media organizations. The National Election Pool (NEP) is a consortium of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News and the Associated Press.