High School Football
10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

Justice in Pole Position

Governor Jim Justice heads into the 2024 U.S. Senate race at the top of the hill looking down. Consider the latest poll of West Virginia voters by the East Carolina University Center for Survey Research:*

–Justice’s job approval rating is at 57 percent, while only 29 percent disapprove.

–Senator Joe Manchin’s job approval rating is just 33 percent, while 59 percent disapprove.

–In a hypothetical matchup between Justice and Manchin for the seat now held by Manchin, Justice leads 54 percent to 32 percent among registered voters.

–Only half (51 percent) of self-identified Democrats approve of Manchin’s job performance, and that number drops to 37 percent among independents and 22 percent among Republicans.

–Justice has a 70 percent approval rating among Republicans, 52 percent approval among independents and 39 percent among Democrats.

–Justice is way ahead of Manchin in three of four education demographics. Manchin’s only advantage (49 percent to 40 percent) is among voters with a post-graduate degree.

–The race for the Senate is much closer if Manchin runs for re-election and Republican Congressman Alex Mooney is the nominee.  In a hypothetical matchup, the ECU poll shows the race effectively deadlocked with Mooney at 41 percent, Manchin at 40 percent and 18 percent undecided.

–But Mooney has a long way to go to win the nomination. Justice leads Mooney by 41 points—53 percent to 12 percent.

–Donald Trump is the prohibitive favorite as the Republican presidential nominee in West Virginia, with the support of 54 percent of expected Republican Primary Election voters. The next closest is Ron DeSantis at just nine percent.

–The Trump factor helps Justice significantly. The ECU poll found that those who voted for Trump in 2020 favor Justice over Manchin 76 percent to 14 percent. Since Trump won the state by 39 points, that translates into a wave of support for Justice.

It is important to remember that these poll numbers are a snapshot in time.  A lot can and will change between now and next year’s elections. However, the poll does reaffirm the belief that Justice is on the high ground, while Manchin and Mooney have a long climb ahead of them.

*( The poll of 957 registered voters was conducted May 22-23.  It has an error rate of plus/minus 3.7 percent.)



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