CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A poll conducted for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin shows him with a large lead over West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey if the two were to face off in the 2016 gubernatorial election.
Global Strategy Group, in a survey of 600 likely voters between March 15-18, found 60 percent said they would vote for Manchin in a race against Morrisey. Some 30 percent would vote for the first-term attorney general.
The poll shows Manchin leading Morrisey 66 percent to 25 percent among women, while men favored Manchin 54 percent to 37 percent. Democrats favored Manchin 73-17 and he led 62-30 among independents. Republican would-be voters favored Morrisey 50 percent to 41.
The poll’s margin of error of plus-minus 4 percent.
Neither Manchin nor Morrisey have announced candidacies for governor next year. Manchin said last week he’ll make a decision by Memorial Day. Morrisey has raised about $500,000 for a re-election bid or the governor’s race.
Morrisey declined comment on the poll when contacted by MetroNews.
Global Strategy Group lists other key findings of the survey:
— 66 percent of those surveyed said they had a positive opinion of Manchin.
— 54 percent of those polled also gave Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin a favorable rating.
— Ratings for potential Republican gubernatorial candidates included Morrisey 25 percent favorable, 18 percent unfavorable; Congressman David McKinley 22 percent favorable, 18 percent unfavorable and state Senate President Bill Cole 12 percent favorable, 9 percent unfavorable.