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Manchin, Capito remain popular as election and health care talks build

WASHINGTON — Amid the start of the 2018 midterm election and debate on the future of health care, a majority of West Virginians still approve of work being done by both of the state’s senators.

According to Morning Consult — an organization which conducts research with Politico, Vox, Fortune and Bloomberg News — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito have above 50 percent approval ratings, placing them in the top 25 top-rated senators in the United States.

Manchin has a 57 percent approval rating and 31 percent disapproval, while Capito is scored at 56 percent approval with 26 percent disapproval. The margin of error for both is 3 percentage points.

These ratings put Manchin and Capito 20th and 25th respectively among the 100 senators.

Morning Consult reached out to 141,400 registered voters nationwide from April through June 18 to determine its latest ratings.

In its April 11 report, the organization polled Manchin at 57 percent approval with 33 percent disapproval, while Capito’s approval rating was at 59 percent with 26 percent disapproval. More than 85,000 registered voters were polled.

Manchin is already in the midst of his re-election campaign; U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and former coal miner Bo Copley have all announced they are campaigning to challenge Manchin. Activist Paula Jean Swearengin is running against Manchin for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Capito, on the other hand, has been targeted by state and national organizations regarding the Senate plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law. She came out against the Republican plan last month, and told The Charleston Gazette-Mail on Friday she was against an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

The Cruz proposal would allow insurers to sell plans that do not meet “Obamacare” standards.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has the highest approval rating at 75 percent, while Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has the lowest at 37 percent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has the highest disapproval rating at 48 percent.

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