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West Virginians favor Trump over Biden for president, latest poll shows

West Virginia once again overwhelmingly favors Donald J. Trump for president, although not by the dominating margin he achieved in his 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton.

The latest edition of the MetroNews West Virginia Poll shows Trump with a commanding lead in West Virginia over former Vice President Joe Biden.

Rex Repass

“At this point, President Trump has a commanding lead. I expect him to maintain that, and that may grow,” said pollster Rex Repass, whose Research America Inc. conducted the poll.

The poll also shows that likely voters favor incumbent Senator Shelley Moore Capito over her challenger, Democrat Paula Jean Swearingen.

WV Poll 10 13 Release (Text)

The poll illustrates West Virginia’s Republican-leaning politics compared to much of the rest of the country.

A General Election average of national polls with FiveThirtyEight shows Biden leading 52.4 percent to Trump’s 41.9 percent, with recent polls showing Biden ahead in swing states like Pennsylvania or Florida.

That could create a down-ballot effect on Senate races across the country, with the GOP’s U.S. Senate majority in question.

But in West Virginia, there appears to be no question at all.

The West Virginia poll shows that 53 percent of likely voters support President Trump’s reelection while 39 percent support former Vice President Joe Biden.

There is some support for third-party candidates too, with 4 percent backing Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen and 1 percent supporting Howie Hawkins of the Mountain Party. Three percent aren’t sure.

Trump won West Virginia by a wider margin than that in 2016.

The Republican nominee defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton 67.9 percent to 26.2 percent four years ago.

“He is dominating the race in West Virginia as he did in 2016 – but he won by 40 points in 2016,” Repass said.

West Virginians give Trump the edge over Biden, this year’s Democratic nominee, when it comes to handling several key issues.

On handling the coronavirus pandemic, 51 percent of West Virginia likely voters say they trust Trump more to handle the coronavirus pandemic compared to 41 percent for Biden. Eight percent said they are not sure.

On race relations, which has been a major issue across the country this year, 50 percent of West Virginians favor Trump’s handling compared to 41 percent for Biden.

Fifty-nine percent of West Virginians trust Trump on the economy with 33 percent saying they favor Biden.

And on crime, 58 percent favor Trump’s handling to 35 percent for Biden.

West Virginia likely voters say they favor Capito over Swearingen, 53 percent to 33 percent. Another 5 percent said they support David Moran, a Libertarian candidate for Senate. And 9 percent said they’re not sure.

“She’s got a 20-point lead,” Repass said of Capito.

Capito, a Republican, has served in the Senate since 2015 after first being elected to Congress in 2001. Swearingen, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully in the 2018 Primary Election against incumbent Senator Joe Manchin.

With Democrats still having a small registration advantage over Republicans in West Virginia, Swearingen would have a greater chance of victory if there’s a surge of motivated voters.

“If for some reason, there is a 1 and a half margin among Democrats in voter turnout then it could be closer,” Repass said.

The MetroNews West Virginia Poll was conducted between Oct. 1-6 among a sample of 450 West Virginia registered voters who are likely to vote in the upcoming Nov. 3 General Election. The overall confidence interval for the survey is +/- 4.6 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Methodology Statement                               

Results of this edition of MetroNews West Virginia Poll are based on interviews conducted between Oct. 1-6, 2020 with a sample of 450 West Virginia registered voters who are likely to vote in the upcoming November 3rd national general election, including registered Democrats, Republicans, Libertarian, Mountain Party, and unaffiliated or independent voters. Data collection was completed online and by telephone with purchased sample of registered voters who are likely to vote in general elections.

Registered likely voters in all 55 West Virginia counties were sampled and screened for near certainty that they plan to vote.  After completion of data collection, the data was modeled to likely voters, actual voter registration in the state, and expected turnout.

When using sample of registered voters and hybrid data collection (online and telephone) it is not appropriate to apply a probability-based margin of error to interviews completed. However, applying statistical tests of significance to each question asked at the 95 percent confidence interval yields an overall statistical error of +/- 4.6 percentage points based on the 450 interviews. The 95 percent confidence interval varies by question.

The purpose of the West Virginia Poll is to provide a snapshot of opinion and timely voter views in the Mountain State. The media sponsor of the West Virginia Poll is MetroNews Radio Network.

Rex Repass is director of the West Virginia Poll and president of Research America Inc. Repass is responsible for questionnaire design, the respondent screening and selection process, data tabulation, statistical analysis, and reporting of results.

The MetroNews West Virginia Poll is a non-partisan survey of public opinion conducted by Repass and Research America Inc. The West Virginia Poll has been directed by Repass and conducted periodically since January 21, 1980. The name The West Virginia Poll is a trademark owned by Research America Inc; all rights reserved.

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