CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate will participate in a debate next week in Morgantown, following the release of a Fox News poll on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., leads the field with 25 percent of respondents’ support. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has 21 percent, followed by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship at 16 percent.

Fox News is hosting a debate at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown on May 1. Participants who reached a 10 percent threshold in the poll will be invited to participate.

National Guard Maj. Tom Willis sits at 4 percent, followed by former coal miner Bo Copley at 2 percent and U.S. Navy veteran Jack Newbrough at 1 percent. Seven percent of respondents say they do not favor any of the six candidates, and 24 percent say they are undecided.

The poll was conducted by Anderson Robbinson Research and Shaw & Company Research. Pollsters contacted a random sample of 985 likely Republican primary voters on landlines and cellphones between April 18 and 22. This is before a Monday debate with all six candidates at Wheeling Jesuit University.

The poll’s margin of error is three percentage points.

In terms of the most important issues facing the United States, 20 percent say the opioid addiction crisis is the top priority, followed by the economy (19 percent), immigration (16 percent) and health care (14 percent).

In regards to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., 35 percent say they approve of his performance in office and 59 percent disapprove. President Donald Trump has an 87 percent approval rating according to the poll.


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