Vitter tops GOP field in LA; It's Manchin vs. Raese in WV

No surprises in yesterday's primaries as GOP incumbent Senator David Vitter breezed to victory in the Republican senate primary and West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin won the West Virginia Democratic senate primary made necessary by the death earlier this year of Robert Byrd.

ABC News reports:

In Louisiana, scandal-tainted Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter easily beat two little-known challengers and will meet Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon, who won his party's primary, in November.

Vitter survived a 2007 prostitution scandal after he admitted an unspecified "serious sin" after his phone number appeared in the records of a Washington prostitution ring. He has also shrugged off fresh questions about his judgment in allowing an aide to remain on his staff for more than two years after a violent attack on a woman police identified as his ex-girlfriend.


Manchin won his seventh-straight statewide campaign. He enjoys high approval ratings and was seen as a comforter-in-chief to victims' families following the Upper Big Branch mine explosion, which killed 29 workers in April, and the Sago mine disaster in 2006.

"I'm running for the U.S. Senate to represent all the people," said Manchin, 63. "It's going to be a sprint now and we're prepared."

Both races are key to GOP prospects to take the senate in November. Republicans must hold Louisiana and two other vulnerable incumbent seats while capturing all the open seats available, including West Virginia, It's a tall order and a more realistic assessment from AT's political correspondent Rich Baehr pegs GOP gains at 6-7 net seats.