Democratic Governor Leads In W. Virginia Senate Race

Not surprisingly, Joe Manchin holds an overwhelming lead over both of his likely Republican adversaries:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in West Virginia, taken Thursday night, shows Manchin with 53% support, while Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito earns 39% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer another candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

If former West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland is his GOP rival, Manchin captures 65% voter support. Ireland picks up 26%. Three percent (3%) again like some other candidate, while six percent (6%) are undecided.

Yet while 77% of the state’s voters approve of the job Manchin is doing as governor, he would be running in a challenging political environment for any Democratic candidate.

Only 35% of voters in the state approve of how President Obama is doing his job, while 64% disapprove. This is a much higher rate of disapproval than is found in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

This isn’t entirely surprising considering that Obama lost West Virginia in 2008 at the same time that Manchin was re-elected in a landslide. West Virginia has been quirky like this in recent election cycles — going Republican in the Presidential election while electing Democrats at the statewide level, sometimes in the same election.

Barring a dramatic turnaround, this is clearly a seat that belongs in the “Safe Democrat” column.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.