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Democrat Joe Manchin tells supporters he was surprised by the race's national attention

West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin won re-election in a red state with strong support for President Donald Trump. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin pulled off his re-election bid Tuesday night in West Virginia against Republican challenger state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. But the national attention the race received was not expected, he told supporters during his victory speech.

The closely watched race tightened in the final week leading up to Election Day, but Manchin still came out on top in a red state that elected President Donald Trump by 42 points in 2016.

Manchin beat Morrisey by just 3.2 percentage points, 49.5 percent to 46.3 percent, Tuesday night.

What did Manchin say after his win?

The popular Democrat told supporters during his victory speech that he was surprised that the race had received so much national attention.

"Let me say that I never expected this race to be the national race it turned out to be," Manchin said. "I never expected President Trump to come to this state as much as he did, sending Vice President [Mike] Pence, sending his family, time after time after time. And you stood tall."

"What you said, what West Virginia said, loud and clear tonight: 'Mr. President, we want our senator, not your senator,'" Manchin continued.

He called on Trump to help bring the nation together.

"When I raise my hand and swear to God to uphold the Constitution, that's for everybody. That is for everybody. And we've got to stop this absolute toxic rhetoric that's going on in this country — we have got to stop this toxic rhetoric," he said. "We've got to bring people together. Mr. President, I want you to be a president of the United States, not the divided states."

Following his speech, Manchin told Business Insider that he wasn't angry at Trump for making multiple visits to the state to stump for Morrisey.

"I'm not angry because he came here so many times," Manchin said.

The newspaper asked Manchin if he thought Trump would be angry about the comments made during his victory speech.

"Why should he be angry that I'm telling the truth? I don't think so," Manchin replied.

What else?

Manchin, a moderate, has voted in line with Trump's policies about 60 percent of the time.

He was also the lone Democrat to vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh last month following lengthy hearings and an FBI probe into allegations of sexual misconduct made by college professor Christine Blasey Ford. The FBI found no corroboration regarding the woman’s accusation.

One last thing…
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