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Morrisey leads Republican candidates in new survey

CHARLESTON, W.Va.A survey released Monday shows state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey ahead of the other five Republicans running for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination.

The poll was commissioned by GOPAC, an organization aimed at building state Republican campaigns, and conducted by National Research, who also conducted polls for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Twenty-four percent of respondents said they support Morrisey’s bid for the Republican nomination, followed by U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins at 20 percent.

Former Massey Energy Don Blankenship had the support of 12 percent of survey participants. National Guard Maj. Tom Willis had 3 percent, while former coal miner Bo Copley and U.S. Navy veteran Jack Newbrough each had 1 percent. Thirty-nine percent of respondents were undecided.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Morrisey said in a statement it is clear voters understand which candidate is the better conservative.

“I’m proud of my conservative record as Attorney General, taking on Obama’s War on Coal, expanding gun rights, protecting the unborn, and supporting President Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. It is heartening to see that my conservative message is getting out,” he said in a statement.

The survey was conducted among 411 Republican primary voters between April 17 and 19.

In a separate poll among 500 primary voters, 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for the generic Republican candidate compared to 37 percent supporting the Democratic candidate. When U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was specifically mentioned as the Democratic candidate, 41 percent of respondents said they would support the Republican candidate and 37 percent voiced support for Manchin. Twenty percent of respondents said they were either leaning toward a candidate or undecided.

In terms of approval rating, Manchin has a 51 percent total rating. President Donald Trump, however, has a 62 percent total approval rating.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they were less likely to vote for Manchin given his opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“Senator Manchin could be a victim of the political environment,” a release on the poll stated. “This is a very pro-Trump state, and the Senator appears to be potentially vulnerable to cross currents related to that popularity. His vote against the President’s tax cuts add to his vulnerability.”

Manchin voted against the bill in December, saying he would have liked a bipartisan tax bill rather than the legislation pushed by Republicans.

“When we started this process I believed that real reform needed to meet four goals: it needed to focus on permanent relief for working class families; make small businesses and corporations competitive in a global economy and set an environment for job growth; be fiscally responsible and not grow our debt; and simplify the tax code,” he said. “Unfortunately, I do not believe that this bill meets those goals.”

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