West Virginia sports stars back Manchin in new ad

Three West Virginia sports stars are backing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) in new ad called "Coaches" released by the Manchin campaign. 

The ad features Bob Huggins, the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers men's basketball team; Nick Saban, head football coach at the University of Alabama; and former Los Angeles Lakers player and NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West.

The three men are West Virginia natives, and they tout Manchin's commitment to the Mountain state in their remarks.

"Joe and I grew up together in West Virginia and he never forgets where he came from," Saban says. 

"He loves our state," West chimes in. "He’s dedicated his whole life to West Virginia." 

Manchin is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection as he seeks to hold his blue seat in a state that went to President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE by double digits.

The sports stars in the ad refer to Manchin as their "friend." 

Recent polls have shown Manchin leading his Republican challenger, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, even as Trump, Vice President Pence and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDonald Trump Jr. says critics are 'subverting will of the people' The Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing Trump Jr's 'Triggered' debuts at No. 1 on NY Times bestseller list MORE continue to campaign on behalf of Morrisey. 

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report slightly favors Manchin in the race, rating it as leaning Democrat.