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Because he has been in the Senate for five decades, Robert Byrd has the reputation of being unbeatable if he chooses to run for re-election, even though West Virginia went for George Bush twice. A new poll suggests that this reputation may be seriously overblown, as he has come up in a dead heat against a Republican who hasn't even announced an intention to run in 2006 (via Don Surber):
A new poll shows Sen. Robert Byrd and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito would run neck and neck in a possible campaign for the Senate seat now held by Byrd.
An RMS Strategies Poll released today reports that 46 percent of 401 registered voters in West Virginia would vote for Byrd if the election were held now.
A total of 43 percent picked Capito, R-W.Va., though she has not announced her intention to run.
And 11 percent said they were undecided -- a percentage that could sway the vote either way.
It's not supposed to be this way. Byrd, so the argument goes, brings home the pork -- and then sticks his name on every building that benefits from it. West Virginians supposedly revere Byrd's historic role in the Senate, don't want to lose his influence and leadership, and want to allow the old man to retire on his own terms rather than turn him out of office. Even with the strong red-state showing from WV, most pundits have said that taking Byrd's seat is little more than a pipe dream.
If so, then say hello to Shelley "Pipe" Cavito. The Congresswoman has not yet decided to run against Byrd and still runs within the margin of error in the polling. That's a eyebrow-raising result for anyone running against an incumbent, and given the political direction of the state, shows that Byrd is very vulnerable in 2006.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Byrd In The Oven from Opaque Lucidity
Captain's Quarters is reporting on a poll showing Sen. Robert "pretty, pretty, pretty" Byrd (D-WVa.) bringing in numbers within the margin of error against a candidate who has not even announced her intention to run. Could Byrd's 147 years of... [Read More]
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