"You are going to see a lot of the Senate seats in the 2014 elections that are held by Democrats that come from rather red states, and the Republicans see those as a real opportunity for pickups," said R. Scott Crichlow, a University of West Virginia political science professor.
"You have these two giant names in Democratic politics [in West Virginia] — one being Rockefeller and one being Manchin — and one of them is gone forever," Mr. Crichlow said, alluding to the family of the state's other senator, Joe Manchin III. "That is a big thing. It takes a long time in West Virginia to develop a name for yourself. So, when you lose someone at that level, it is going to be a blow to the party."