CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On Friday, John Raese, a Republican Morgantown businessman challenging Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the Nov. 6 election, said he will begin an advertising campaign Monday focusing on Manchin's voting record.
Raese said Manchin's voting record in the Senate is "far to the left" and that Manchin voted 99 percent of the time with President Obama.
The Congressional Quarterly and the National Journal disagree. Both major political publications, which analyze Washington politics in detail, place Manchin in the middle of the national political spectrum.
Fiona Conroy, Manchin's campaign manager, said, "This is exactly what we expect from John Raese: lies and distortions. As the people of West Virginia know, Joe Manchin doesn't hesitate to respectfully disagree with either political party when he thinks they're wrong or work with them when they're right.
"Joe Manchin is right in the middle, and independent observers say he is one of the most -- if not the most -- bipartisan senators in Washington," Conroy told The Charleston Gazette.
In February, the National Journal published a vote-rating table that ranked Manchin as the Senate's 48th most liberal member, placing him right in the middle of the legislative body's 100 members.
The five most liberal senators were: Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the Journal said.
The National Journal publishes the widely used Almanac of American Politics every two years.
Earlier this year, Congressional Quarterly Roll Call published an analysis of Senate votes showing the two Democratic senators who voted most frequently against Democratic Party-backed legislation in 2012, on 10 different occasions, were Sens. Manchin and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., voted against the Democratic majority once during the same period, according to the Roll Call analysis.
A Congressional Quarterly analysis of all Senate votes cast in 2011 showed Nelson and Manchin were the two Democrats most likely to dissent from the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party that year.