Manchin, key Senate swing vote, boosts West Virginia's hopes
Scott Applewhite, File)CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia has long proclaimed itself “Almost Heaven,” a nod to a song and soaring mountaintop vistas. But Manchin, who grew up in the mountain town of Farmington, has emerged as a key swing vote in a divided Senate. Not since Robert Byrd’s death in 2010 has a senator from West Virginia wielded this much influence. With his centrist instincts in such a red state, Manchin has occasionally been the subject of rumors he'll switch parties. “We're hoping Senator Manchin remembers that he represents some of the poorest people in this country,” Kerner said.