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Poll shows popularity problems for Manchin, Holgorsen

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is taking a hit in the polls, and so is West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen.

New numbers released this week from Public Policy Polling showed West Virginia voters gave Manchin a 46-percent approval rating, while 44 percent disapproved.

The last time PPP questioned voters about Manchin in 2011, his approval rating stood at 61 percent.

Pollsters with PPP said Machin may be suffering from the Obama effect. In only one other state is President Barack Obama more unpopular than he is in West Virginia right now. Voters surveyed said they support impeaching the president by a 49 percent to 37 percent margin.

Obama’s favorability rating in the Mountain State sits at 28 percent.

Manchin’s numbers are higher, but they’re not that different from U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) who is not seeking re-election next year. Only 45 percent of those questioned approved of Rockefeller’s job performance, while 46 percent disapproved.

Some other numbers from the PPP poll:

♦ Of those questioned, 40 percent said they would support a government shutdown. Among Republicans alone, 56 percent said they support a government shutdown while 20 percent are opposed to it.

♦ The most popular politician in West Virginia is Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin who has a 47-percent approval rating. He was at 44 percent in a similar PPP poll two years ago.

♦ Only 23 percent of West Virginia’s voters support gay marriage, 70 percent said they are opposed to it.  By a slim 49-48 margin, voters said they support civil unions for same sex couples while 68 percent said they think discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity should be illegal.

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

Most of the poll was conducted before Maryland shut out West Virginia 37-0 on Saturday in Baltimore. The results showed WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen had only an 18-percent favorability rating, some 10 points lower than President Obama.

In comparison, the last time Public Policy Polling asked about the late coach Bill Stewart, his favorability rating was 35 percent. Current WVU basketball Coach Bob Huggins has a 45-percent favorability rating.

The favorability rating of Stewart’s predecessor, Rich Rodriguez, stands at 11 percent.

Tom Jensen with PPP was scheduled to discuss the poll results in-depth on Thursday’s edition of MetroNews “Talkline” from 10 a.m. to noon.

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