Early poll shows U.S. Senate race is Capito’s ‘race to lose’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A national pollster said early poll numbers indicate the 2014 U.S. Senate race in West Virginia will be an uphill battle for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.  The Democrat announced her campaign just last week.

In a poll from Public Policy Polling, conducted several days after Tennant’s announcement, 50 percent of those questioned said they would support Republican Second District Congressman Shelley Moore Capito, if the Senate race comes down to Capito and Tennant.

A total of 36 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Tennant in that scenario and 14 percent said, as of right now, they are undecided.

“They (the Democrats) have, I think, a relatively strong candidate.  Tennant has a plus-seven favorability rating and she’s pretty well known, but certainly Republicans are starting out favored,” said Tom Jensen with PPP.

“Even though the race is at a very early stage, you don’t see a particularly high level of undecideds so, when you’re starting out at 50 percent, it definitely means it’s your race to lose.

Jensen talked about the numbers on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

He said the poll puts Capito’s favorability rating at 45 percent and Tennant’s favorability at 39 percent.  At this point, Capito’s name recognition is more than ten points higher than Tennant’s, “which is one reason to think that Tennant may be able to gain some ground,” according to Jensen.

In comparison, the PPP numbers put President Barack Obama’s approval rating at 28 percent in West Virginia.  A total of 67 percent of those questioned said they disapprove of the President’s job performance.

Public Policy Polling questioned 1,110 West Virginia voters between last Thursday and Sunday.

West Virginia’s Primary Election will be Tuesday, May 13.  The 2014 General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.

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