By Peter J. Smith
CHARLESTON, West Virginia, November 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life Gov. Joe Manchin III has bested pro-life Republican challenger John Raese in the special election for U.S. Senate.
Manchin (D) carried West Virginia with 53 percent of the vote, while Raese came short at 44 percent, with 90 percent of precincts reporting.
Manchin’s win makes it unlikely the GOP will gain the 10 pickups they needed to seize control of the U.S. Senate chamber.
Ordinarily the race would have been a slam-dunk for a Democrat, especially for Manchin, who has enjoyed enormous popularity in the state. But Manchin only climbed back into the lead over Raese in the past few weeks by making the case to voters that he would not be a rubberstamp for President Barack Obama and his policies.
Manchin also pledged he would work to repeal problematic parts of the national health care reform law, especially the parts that enable the subsidization of abortion in health care plans.
"The president's plan - 'Obamacare,' as it's been called - is far too reaching. It's overreaching. It needs to have a lot of it repealed. If you can't fix that, repeal the whole thing," Manchin said on the Fox News “Fox and Friends” program back in October, when he was struggling to overcome Raese.
The pro-life Democrat was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association.
West Virginians for Life, the state affiliate of National Right to Life, endorsed both Manchin and Raese in the Senate contest.
Back in May, Manchin signed into law requiring abortionists to offer women the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their unborn baby.
Manchin’s election means he will finish out the deceased U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd’s term, and face voters again in 2012, who will then judge whether Manchin has held true to his pledge to oppose Obama’s policies in the Senate.