West Virginians remain 49th in per capita income.
Was all this inevitable?
Can none of it be changed?
Well, why hasn't it changed?
Manchin is a conservative Democrat. He has an impressive record for fixing broken policies and programs as governor.
He was expected to cruise into the Senate.
But Raese made it a race.
He said Manchin, once in the Senate, would be "Washington Joe," and would vote his party, not his convictions, when the chips were down.
One of the most personable, capable, popular governors West Virginia has ever had won by only a 53.5 percent to 43.4 percent margin. That's a landslide, but it wasn't a tsunami.
Now Raese says:
"We have a president who has been an absolute disaster . . . and a senator who supports that disaster," Raese said. "He has voted with Obama over 85 percent of the time.
"Last time around I called him a rubber stamp and he didn't let me down."
Arguable, but there are things to talk about:
Obamacare, the Environmental Protection Agency, trillion-dollar deficits, a national debt that's now north of $14.2 trillion.
The nation is at a crossroads.
The liberal Democrats who hold sway in the Senate want the United States to be more like socialist Europe.
Well, Europe is melting down.
Manchin is quite capable of addressing these issues. He and Raese probably agree on many.
But I'm glad Raese is once again willing to make it a race.
Free enterprise has lifted more people out of poverty than any government program ever will. But in these United States, it's not being allowed to work.
It should be. How we get there is an argument worth having.
Maurice is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-4802 or ha...@dailymail.com.