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  The GOP's First 2012 Target: Joe Manchin
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Last EditedJason  Nov 26, 2010 01:46am
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News DateTuesday, November 9, 2010 08:30:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe Republican Party is wasting very little time going after one of their top Senate targets for 2012: West Virginia Sen.-elect Joe Manchin (D).

Manchin is already up for re-election because he was elected last Tuesday in a special election for the late Sen. Robert Byrd's (D) seat.

Just a week after he defeated Republican John Raese by 10 percent, Manchin is already being put on the defensive by rumors that he has been courted by the GOP to switch parties.

More, the National Republican Senatorial Committee also jumped on him on Tuesday, targeting him with its first attack statement of the 2012 cycle. In it, Republicans preemptively criticized Manchin for considering backing Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to retain his position as Senate Majority Leader. Reid supports cap and trade energy legislation, a proposal that Manchin has campaigned against and that is deeply unpopular in West Virginia, where coal mining is the top industry.

The Manchin offensive shows that Republicans are, just days after the 2010 election, trying to lay the groundwork for 2012. If the atmosphere remains anything like it is now in 2012, they will have a good shot at winning a Senate majority because of the number of Democrats who are up in swing or conservative leaning states.
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