Obama adviser sees West Virginia as tough sell

April 22, 2012 - 11:47 AM
Obama Manchin

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2011 file photo, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Manchin says he's unsure whether he'll vote for President Barack Obama or likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In a statement Friday, Manchin said he has real differences with both Obama and Romney. He also said many West Virginians believe the last 3 ½ years have not been good. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top adviser to President Barack Obama's campaign says he understands the political calculation behind West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin's announcement that he's not sure right now whether he'll vote for his party leader in November.

Obama strategist David Axelrod says he hopes the Democratic lawmaker ultimately will warm to Obama before the election.

Manchin, who's also up for re-election, is citing concerns about Obama's economic and energy policies. West Virginia has voted Republican in the last three presidential elections.

Axelrod tells CNN "State of the Union" that West Virginia will be a "tough state for us again" and that Manchin was "making a political judgment about himself." Axelrod says he hopes Manchin will ultimately take into account wider U.S. interests.