Not true. Manchin can declare a special election for November 2010. He just got the Attorney General’s ruling today, I believe.
From what I hear, he has been a decent governor with fairly conservative policies. Hence he is popular. However, when in DC he will be daily voting to support Reid and 0bama. If his GOP opponent can successfully communicate this, he may have a hard time. Also, if he resigns to run his open Governor seat might be captured by a republican.
It is such poor planning by the GOP...not to have a strong candidate in waiting with Byrd on deaths door...now they have to find a candidate that is strong enough to beat any dem.