The WaPo has an extremely long obit:
Robert C. Byrd, 92, a conservative West Virginia Democrat who became the longest-serving member of Congress in history and used his masterful knowledge of the institution to shape the federal budget, protect the procedural rules of the Senate and, above all else, tend to the interests of his state, died at 3 a.m. Monday at Inova Fairfax Hospital, his office said.
I honestly have no idea how good the chances are of a Democrat replacing him. One of the weird thing about West Virginia is that Rockefeller and Byrd loomed so large that there sort of seems to be a vacuum of politicians of any stature on either side of the aisle at the state level. I’d imagine that if Gov. Manchin ran, he would have a very good chance of replacing him, because he is quite popular and connected and seems to fit in with the sensibilities of WV voters. The state has been trending Republican for a while, so I’m sure with the absence of a strong Democratic candidate, no matter who the Republicans run, it would be a toss-up.
I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see Mac Warner, the man who lost to McKinley in the Republican race to unseat Mollohan, try to run for the seat. Likewise, I can see Capito deciding it is time to move up. We’ll see. I just don’t know how this will play out.
This is also the first time in my life that Robert Byrd was not one of my Senators.