CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Eleven percentage points separate Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in the West Virginia Poll — the latest poll on the U.S. Senate race.
R.L. Repass & Partners conducted the poll for the Charleston Daily Mail.
In that poll, 49 percent of those questioned said they would support Capito, a Republican, 38 percent said they would support Tennant, a Democrat, and 13 percent said they were undecided with the Nov. 4 general election scheduled for more than five months from now.
“If you look at likely voters, particularly by age demographics, and those are the ones that are most likely to vote — persons who are 45-plus in age — then there is a 51 percent to 59 percent support for Shelley Capito,” said Rex Repass on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
“Shelley Moore Capito is working tirelessly to get her message out to West Virginians,” said Amy Graham, a spokesperson for the Capito campaign, when asked about the poll on Tuesday.
“It’s obvious her proven record of standing up for West Virginia values, and her tough stance on Obamacare, jobs and the War on Coal is resonating with voters despite months of baseless and negative attacks on her record.”
Those with the Tennant campaign, though, pointed to the number of total votes Tennant received in the May primary election — 30,000 more votes compared with Capito’s vote total. In 36 of West Virginia’s 55 counties, Tennant’s votes exceeded Capito’s votes.
“The primary turnout proves Natalie has the votes to win,” said Jennifer Donohue, spokesperson for the Tennant campaign, in a statement sent to MetroNews. “Those same voters will turn out to vote for Natalie’s ‘West Virginia First’ message in November because they are tired of Congresswoman Capito doing Wall Street’s dirty work at their expense.”
About half of West Virginia’s 1.2 million voters are Democrats.
But Repass said the advantage Democrats have in registrations is not a deciding factor anymore. “While that’s important and Natalie Tennant has certainly had strong support in statewide elections in the past, it’s not as important as it used to be and independent voters are becoming even more important,” said Repass.
Among independent voters, those who make up the largest block of undecideds, Repass said Capito holds a 14 point lead in the poll.
The poll of 400 registered West Virginia voters from R.L. Repass & Partners had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.