Radio exec hoping to Raese a ruckus in WV Senate race


West Virginia Radio Corporation’s John Raese has tossed his hat into the ring for the open US Senate seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV). He’ll run in the Republican primary to face likely Democratic nominee and current governor Joe Manchin (D).

US Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) declined to go up against the popular Manchin, opening the door for a number of potential contestants for the Republican nod.

Raese has tried and failed to get into the US Senate two times previously, losing to Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in 1984 and to Byrd in 2006. He also failed to unseat an incumbent Republican governor, Arch Moore, in a primary race back in 1998.

WVRC runs a state radio network and has 25 stations in four radio markets, including Charleston WV, Morgantown-Clarksburg-Fairmont WV, Elkins-Buckhannon-Fairmont WV, and unrated Keyser WV-Cumberland MD.

Rasmussen has already run a poll looking at a potential Manchin-Raese face-off, which shows Manchin well out in front 51%-35%.

RBR-TVBR observation: If Raese has one thing going for him, it’s that he does not have to clear a name-recognition hurdle. Rasmussen asked a number of questions, and voters in West Virginia know him well enough to have an opinion.

That won’t help if he is seen as a known commodity that the electorate just isn’t buying. But it is a starting point.

Manchin enjoys high favorables in the state and has significant support from Republican voters. That bloc of voters may give Raese something to chip away at, and if he can convince them to come over to his side, he might have a chance.