If Republicans had hoped to make the West Virgina Senate race a referendum on President Obama, they probably won't want to hear what voters there had to say.
CBS News projects popular two-term Gov. Joe Manchin will take control of the seat long held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd.
Manchin fended off a deep-pocketed Republican challenger John Raese.
The campaign was full of mud in the coal-rich state.
"Washington Joe does whatever Obama wants," a blue collar guy says in one Republican-funded ad. Another ad accused Manchin of throwing West Virginia "under the bus."
At first, the effort to tie Manchin to Mr. Obama seemed to work. The highly popular governor slipped badly in the polls. Manchin tacked right, promising to challenge parts of Mr. Obama's health care bill, opposing the repeal of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law banning openly gay members of the military from service and fighting for aggressive spending cuts in Washington. Manchin also opposes abortion rights.
For his part, Raese questioned the minimum wage (bad move in West Virginia) and bragged that he was a Tea Partier before the Tea Party movement existed, whatever that means.
In the end, West Virginians appear to have chosen for Senate the man they have long approved of as governor.
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