One of the persistent political questions over the last couple of months has been whether Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s push for more gun control has cost him in his home state.  A just-released poll by Republican strategist Mark Blankenship finds that Manchin’s overall approval ratings have dropped from 70 percent last March to 63 percent now.

The simplistic conclusion is that Manchin’s advocacy for expanded background checks for gun purchases has dug into his substantial support in a strong gun rights state.  However, Blankenship insists that a closer look at his numbers doesn’t necessarily bear that out.

First, Blankenship maintains that a swing of five to ten points in approval, particularly at a time when there’s no campaign underway, may just be a temporary blip.  The true test will be if the next poll shows Manchin’s approval numbers continuing to slide.

Additionally, Blankenship says that Manchin’s approval to disapproval ratio remains at nearly three to one, and there’s been no notable rise in the percentage of voters who strongly or somewhat disapprove of the job he’s doing.

Meanwhile, 67 percent of those questioned either strongly support or somewhat support Manchin’s gun control legislation, while only 30 percent somewhat oppose or strongly oppose.  Blankenship believes the high approval numbers in West Virginia for additional background checks mean Manchin does not appear to be paying a high political price.

“It’s a scratch,” Blankenship told me. “You can’t use these numbers to conclude that gun control hurt Manchin.”

The poll also found a ten point drop (64 percent to 54 percent from March to now) in the approval rating of Republican Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Shelley Moore Capito.  Again, Blankenship is reluctant to attach too much significance to the shift.

“Capito should be cognizant of the dip, but her disapproval (number) is not dramatically higher,” Blankenship said.  Both Capito and Manchin show a “consistency of strength.”

For the first time, Blankenship included Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in his questions about the 2014 Senate race.  The MBE numbers show a 40 percent plurality for her in that race with state Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis getting 12 percent.  Neither Tennant nor Davis has decided whether to run for the Senate.

Charleston attorney Nick Preservati and Wheeling attorney Ralph Baxter each picked up only one percent, but that’s not surprising.  Neither is very well known, even in tight political circles, nor has either entered the race yet.

If anybody should be doing the victory dance after the MBE poll, it’s Earl Ray Tomblin. The Democratic Governor has a job approval rate of 69 percent, unchanged from the March poll.

Even more comforting to Tomblin is that West Virginian’s don’t blame him for the state’s economic challenges.  When asked which elected officials are most responsible for job losses in West Virginia, only three percent said Tomblin.  49 percent blame President Obama.

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  • ValleyMuse

    Haven't people learned to vet candidates? Look at their voting record. Look at who and what they support. Look at who supports them.

    Actions speak louder than words. Didn't anyone learn that lesson? Give them more power and it will only get worse!

    Constitution = us little folks. What candidate supports that?

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  • DonaldB

    Hop'sHip, would you like to buy one--- C.O.D., of course

  • wvumounties8

    Seems like you have analyzed yourself pretty accurately. Finally, a liberal that is self-deprecating in a reverse manner.

  • wvumounties8

    And you trust the US Government that much?? Well then..........I have this bridge for sale in NYC............

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  • DonaldB

    Welcome to West Virginia, the political land that would vote Wally Baron in again if he were here and ran —the political land that voted to re-elect Jimmy Carter—the political land that votes for an outsider RICH elitist to represent them- the political land that votes to be represented by a pro-Abortion Republican AND an anti-Abortion Democrat at the same time—We will send a pro second amendment Republican to Washington AND a gun controlling Democrat.. Our level of political sophistication is “0”!! Our State logo should read- “If you got the money, honey we got the vote”

  • DonaldB

    As I have always maintained, West Virginian’s are NOT politically sophisticated enough to vote AGAIST the power based politicians of and in West Virginia by their own sound mind and free-will. The West Virginian news media and unions almost ALWAYS get who they want elected in state and local election-- almost everytime!!

  • JJ

    42 comments and Hopship has yet to make a credible statement. MAKE A POINT. You defend your bashing of others and make sure to jab them a few times with some juvenile comments. That's it. You clearly have no understanding of the subject(s) or are fearful that someone will call YOU out for your opinion ON THE TOPIC. Internet bully. Hope it makes you feel lke a big person.

  • Donna Johnson

    Curious as to how many people were polled?
    Because here in Boone County W.V. he lost a lot (more than 7%) of approval.

  • vashti

    it does EXplicitily address the gun registry ie paper work is to be shredded within 5 days. paranoia would not allow many people to believe it of course

  • vashti

    you are incorrect Shadow the issue of giving your gun to a family memeber was EXPLICITLY exempt. it was indeed reported on but i would not expect anyone who is over the top pro gun to try to get facts before making up their mind

  • Curmudgeon

    I guess if there is no news then take a poll so you can make your own story. I don't believe a lot of the polls.

  • Shadow

    Several years ago, I proposed to Feinstein that the US Government stockpile AK 47 ammo so that the Militia that was armed with AKs would have backup if needed. Strange, I never got a reply. Therefore, I don't know why anyone would buy an AK but should stick to the 5.56 or 7.62 as the Government has a lot of them and is easily available. In terms of a handgun, stick to a .40 S&W as DHS has lots.

  • CaptainQ

    Quite true, bulldog! I know in my area of the state, people I talk to (friends and random folks) are truly upset with Joe Manchin spearheading a gun control bill. It's odd how, according to THIS poll, the majority of WV citizens favor SOME form of gun control and yet, it would seem, many of these SAME people dislike MoJo's proposed solution.

    This is why I suspect that this poll is perhaps not totally accurate. My guess is the NRA will react to this poll with a poll of their own saying the majority of people in THIS state DON'T want any form of gun control. Just more political 'theater', if you ask me.

  • FungoJoe

    MoJoes numbers will fluctuate. Thats what numbers do alot of the time. Assault rifles really are not as big a problem as the media and the leftists want you to think. The problems are the numbers of cheap handguns and AK-47's out on the streets and who possesses those cheap firearms. Maybe restricting the importation of these handguns and AK's into the US would be one step. I don't think it would be an anti-Capitalist move. Nor anti-second amendment. Protectionist? Yes, but we are protecting our citizens, not an industry.
    Make more severe the penalties for gun usage in a crime on laws that are already on the books. Maybe get all Saudi Arabia up in here, and chop the arm off a convict if they used a gun in their crime.
    Most AK-47's that are on the streets of the US are made in foreign countries, they are imported. Millions upon millions of cheap handguns on our streets are imported. That is where you should start, Mr. MoJoe, if you want to get serious about gun violence in the US.

  • mntnman

    I've lived in WV my entire life, except for three years in law school. The voters in our state are neither smarter or dumber than those any where else. We (all voters) are subject to the science of opinion manipulation. It is scary, really.

    Politicians and special interests have learned to use polling, media, electronics, etc to manipulate the average voter, who does not really dig deep to find out what is going on. The average voter simply votes what they believe is best for them, given what little they are actually told, even if it may not actually be best for them. They do not read, study and learn. Instead, they allow the political machines, special interests and the media to con them into believing whatever those in power want us to believe. (Example. We were told repeatedly by the governors office and legislature that they wanted local control in public education. They then passed a bill that actually strengthened state control. The media apparently bought it. So the public believes it.)

    This site is a good example. Hoppy tells the story with his spin, which has a decidedly conservative, pro business lean. He gets to do that because the owner of the company he works for lets him do it. He tends to be pro-republicrat. I read because he is interesting. I just wish he was more balanced in expressing his opinions.

    Fox news, MSNBC all do what their owners tell them to do. They tell political stories to get their agenda across. In an attempt to bend pubic opinion their way. If you read and watch the partisan media (I watch both sides to try and get some perspective from both sides) you can generally tell where the story is going before they open their mouths. We are no longer given unbiased news reporting; everything political has a spin to it. Except, I might add, PBS Newshour, which consistently just tells the story and lets the viewer decide what to believe. I commend it to your viewing.

    Media spin has been around since the beginning of media. What is so pernicious about it now is that it is instant, manipulative and never ending. Those who own the news (mostly business concerns) decide what is news and how it will be presented to the public. With, of course, their spin. I miss good old fashioned news reporting -- just the facts, just the facts. Sad.

  • manchin_junior

    Vote for a name, vote for the empty suit, just vote, vote, vote. We'll talk about the issues, later. Much later. Say, in the hereafter?

  • bulldog95

    I tend to enjoy some of the posts we have back and forth, sometimes because I think I am so right and you are so wrong. And I am quite sure you think the same way about you being right and me being wrong. However there are times when I see things you post and for the life of me and can not see how you got to the point of view, but I am sure you feel the same about me.
    In response to JJ, some of the counter attacks by Hop'sHip were very much deserved. I assume HH voted for Obama and many other democrats and for them to be called stupid or other names is uncalled for. There are a lot of business folks, doctors, lawyers, and many other people that require at least 4 year degrees and some or a lot of intelligence that vote democrat.
    One last that I think would help calm the name calling would be to point out that I am quite sure that HopsHip is not 100% happy with everything the democrats do, that perhaps you would have liked to see them move a little more towards the center. There are things on the right that I feel is to much on the right and would like them to move a little to the left on. I was not a huge fan of Romney and found faults with him, but not nearly as much with Obama. However, if HopsHip feels Obama, the democrats, can do no wrong and need to move further to the left, there can truly be no civil discussion with people on this board, let alone JJ and his name slinging.

  • bulldog95

    I like how they say that the bill specially said that there will be no gun registry. In fact it says that the attorney general will not have a gun registry. Thats like me saying that metronews cant have a gun registry. That leaves everyone else to have one if the wanted, such as the FBI, homeland...


    No Mo Joe! He has already shot his wad and it was not on a gun range.

  • Hop'sHip

    JJ: You mean personal insights like "We truly live in a time and place of ignorance"? You're right again. I have nothing like that. And you're right about me engaging in insults while everyone here has been nothing but respectful toward me. So I should withdraw and allow this forum to return to being that bastion of insightful and respectful comments it was before I intruded. Keep sharing those personal insights, JJ.

  • bulldog95

    The mean IQ? Are you saying there IQ is mean like angry and hateful?

  • JJ

    Hopship. Offer a real opinion or shut up about everyone else's. You go aftervirtually every person who posts individually but offer absolutely no personal insight whatsoever. A real internet tough guy.

  • Charleston,WV

    What's that? Polls? Don't talk about polls? You kidding me? Polls? I'm just hoping get to the election! ; )

  • Hop'sHip

    No Fungo. I missed that. I must have been busy harassing some Christian. I was suppose to be in Seattle? You're telling me that I'm even a failure at being a repressive regressive? Wow, I'm having a bad day. Do you think it is God punishing me for being condescending toward people like you, Fungo, who only wish to state their reasoned, respectful opinions? But then as a repressive regressive, I don't even believe in God. Now I'm really confused. And a lawless thug to boot.

  • manchin_junior

    Keep votin' on name recognition, the incumbents love it. You'll get what your IQ deserves.

  • JoeJoe

    It always nice to hear from you all out on the Lunatic Left Fringe once in awhile. Once in awhile though. Just lets me know how insane the left is. Missed tyou last week. Were you in Seattle with your leftist progressive buddies who were combating the police again?? Looked like the Occupy Wall Streeters vs. the police again. It is truly mind boggling how the left has embraced the thuggery and lawlessness of the OWS gang. Typical progressives.

  • Buddy

    Lord, if you can't stop fires and floods, please at least deliver us from Natalie Tennant And Her Runaway Ego. Tennant is a Game Changer (TM) - just ask her.

    The next original or interesting thought she utters will be the first. Leadership is not merely saying you are a leader over and over - it actually involves organizing people and achieving a goal. Tennant is like a billboard on the Interstate for a restaurant in town that closed years ago - empty advertising.

    It's a sad commentary that the same acceptance of mediocrity and marketing that put Obama in office twice is at work here. Dems who stand around holding coats and bending paper clips long enough and have their inane quotes reprinted by a less-than-inquisitive press are eventually deemed worthy of...what? Representing over a million people in the Senate? You're having a laugh.

  • Hop'sHip

    Hi Fungo. I don't think I am a comedian. But I did learn today that I am ignorant, pathetic, dumber than dirt, and now, thanks to you, an unfunny, repressive, unrelenting attacker. I am glad I am not a gun owner or I might just use it on myself, that is if I could figure out how it worked. Wireowe. Where are you? I need to feel your love. Or are you going to tell me I have crazy eyes?

  • Hop'sHip

    JJ: I thought I stopped myself. You are right. I was about to moan and cry because you merely offered your opinion on how ignorant people like me are. I apologize for my pathetic actions and again encourage you to keep posting.

  • JoeJoe

    Hopship thinks he is a comedian. He has been taking lessons from Bill Maher. Notice the similarities that their routines are never funny?? Always an attack on someone. Typical liberal repressive progressive.

  • WV Citizen

    Funky IQ is <80!

  • Charleston,WV

    Obviously I struck a chord yesterday, however I just find it interesting in today's world that you can't have a different opinion without demonizing someone. Please excuse me for the ridiculing remark.

  • Hop'sHip

    I don't even think those you refer to, dog, even vote. Now if Funky is right, and he seems like a bright well-informed person, and the mean IQ for the population is 100, that means that the average voter is considerably less intelligent than the non-voter. Now I am told constantly that real smart people, those with high IQs, vote Republican. And that is about half the voters. So those of us who voted for Obama must be dumber than dirt. We voted for him to get the free phones but are too stupid to figure out how the phones work! Bummer!

  • Shadow

    From what I have read on the internet, the devil was in the details which are never discussed in the gun control media. The details were such that you could not loan or give a gun to a person without a formal background check, even your son or brother. I think anyone would not like a insane person to have a gun. Felons are a different issue, they may have to protect themselves. Hillary wants felons to vote and I ask you which is more dangerous, voting or protecting yourself? It is strange that President Pinnochio didn't want a picture ID to vote but a background check for everyone to own an inanimate object. As the details come out, Joe will have to explain his relationship to Schumer and his grand gun control plan.

  • bulldog95

    It all depends on who is polled, more leaning left in the poll skews the results, although this state is heavy left with registered voters.

    Something that I think that is overlooked is people can say anything to those calls because someone is listening, but when they vote in private, thats a different matter. I know if I talk to some of my friends and politics come up, I have to tred very carefully because some are left leaning and we both act like we agree with one another in the middle but we all know how the other truely feels.

  • DWM

    Having lived in WV for 20 years now, this I know with no doubt at all. We will continue sending Joe Manchin to Washington no matter how bad he is for the state, no matter what he does, and no matter how oppositional his politics are in comparison to the voting public in WV.

    Don't ask me why, I haven't figured it out. As he bows down and worships at the altar of a president that wouldn't get elected as dog catcher in most WV counties because of his elitist politics, we still continue to dance to mojo's tune.

  • bulldog95

    I dont know if I would go that far and assume what there IQ is, but rather I like to say it the need to not know voters. They are to wrapped up in sports, tv, computers, video games, or whatever else. They are a true danger to the system, and they exist on both sides of the isle.

  • JJ

    Hopship, what's your point other than pissing and moaning about people who don't have your liberal crybaby opinion? Pathetic.

  • Hop'sHip


    What is your IQ?

  • Wowbagger

    Oh, we political junkies obsess over results like this too!

  • Funky_Politician

    The average voter has an IQ of <80. Of course the voters go for name recognition because that's all that their <80 IQ's can handle. All the incumbents will be there till the cobwebs petrify.

  • Wowbagger

    Off season political polls are mostly of interest to pollsters, journalists looking for a story, and politicians.

    These results are more analogous to a simple blood pressure reading than a stress test. Knee jerks but not well thought out responses.

    Not really a lot of information here.

  • ShinnstonGuy

    I love this poll, because it shows that for all the NRA and MetroNews commenters sabre-rattling, the Senator has remained quite popular. Perhaps it could be because he offered nothing more than background checks, which apparently have the approval of 90 percent of Americans?

    I also enjoy how the media is quick to showcase voter apathy and fatigue, yet every week we are force-fed more polling numbers and political announcements. Does anyone else think this is a chicken-and-the-egg situation?

  • manchin_junior


  • Got to go

    I wonder where this poll took place? I was not polled, my family was not polled and non of my friends were polled. Because everyone that I speak with are tired of the whole bunch!

    They got to go!

  • Hop'sHip

    Yes JJ. If only we were all as smart as you...Oops! I was being condescending again. Never mind. You're obviously right JJ. Keep up the good commenting.

  • CaptainQ

    Well Hoppy, if these poll numbers are to be taken as the hard truth, perhaps Joe Manchin is less politically vunerable as we all thought. Maybe somehow, some way, MoJo DID find/purchase/acquire Robert C Byrd's mythical Cloak of Political Invincibility. Shelley Moore Capito may not be as strong as first envisioned either My guess is, this poll was taken BEFORE Gov. Tomblin's decision to sign WV up for the expanded Medicaid deal from ObamaCare since this poll ALSO indicates that President Obama remains as popular in this state as foot fungus (49% blamed HIM for WV's bad economy). Anything or anyone even remotely attached to Obama in WV will be subject to voter wrath next year.

    To me, the most surprising result is the strong showing by Natalie Tennant. Maybe she should consider tossing her hat into the Senate race, or she try to take on Nick Casey in the 2nd US House District primary.

    But then again, polls are polls and as with most early political polls, one has to question their accuracy. Still a LONG, LONG way from next year's election season, so perhaps these poll results should be taken with a 'dose of salt.'

    Oh well, time will tell

  • thornton

    When it comes reelection time, should the decision be to run, Manchin will indeed face the pro-gun folks...who, given the situation now, will be shooting blanks.
    The drop in the Manchin numbers is indicative of only an open window for Winter-tired buzzing skeeters to have a go.
    Not a fan of the senator but not blind to sound and fury stamping their respective feet and stacked up in front of one conveniently open, tiny window.

    The pro gun folks have problems in their ranks that limits effectiveness.
    Some of thsoe being the noisy Preppers afraid of super-volcanos imagining Mrs. Fluharty down the holler stealing their canned corn or others clad in purchased SWAT gear imagining a fight against the Feds on the banks of the Coal re gun confiscation.
    Add in the pandering of the fear-mongering for profit Nugent and it is easy to see why even long-time gun owners uncap out the OFF.

  • JJ

    Yes, Joe attacks our jobs, our guns, and our way of life; bites the very hand that feeds, and still 2/3 polled support him. We truly live in a time and place of ignorance.