- Secretary of State Natalie Tennant
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is heavily favored by West Virginia voters in the race for Jay Rockefeller’s seat in the U.S. Senate, according to a recent study by a national political polling firm.
In a poll conducted last weekend by the Raleigh, N.C. based firm Public Policy Polling, 50 percent of poll respondents said they would vote for Capito if she were the Republican candidate next November.
That includes 30 percent of surveyed Democrat voters and 54 of independents.
Meanwhile, 36 percent of respondents said they would vote for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who announced last week she also is running for Rockefeller’s seat.
Tennant received much less crossover support. Only 11 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of independents said they would vote for her in a race against Capito.
This appears to be tied to President Barack Obama‘s low approval rating in the Mountain State.
Only 28 percent of respondents said they approved of Obama’s job performance, while 67 percent said they disapproved. More than half of those polled, 57 percent, voted for Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the last presidential election.
Of Capito’s supporters, 72 percent voted for Romney and 14 percent voted for Obama. An overwhelming majority of Tennant’s supporters, 78 percent, voted for Obama.
Fourteen percent said they were unsure who they would vote for.
Most respondents — 45 percent — said they had a “favorable” opinion of Capito, while 36 percent have an unfavorable opinion and 19 percent were not sure.
- Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
Tennant fared a little worse, with 39 percent holding a favorable opinion of her and 32 percent having an unfavorable opinion. Thirty percent were not sure how they feel about the Secretary of State.
(These findings are quite different from the findings of the West Virginia Poll, conducted last month. That phone survey found 45 percent of respondents said pick Capito and 40 percent would choose Tennant The poll’s margin of error made the race a dead heat.)
The Public Policy Polling survey included 1,110 West Virginia voters, including 600 usual Democratic primary voters and 348 usual Republican primary voters. The poll has an overall margin of error of 2.9 percent, 4 percent for Democrats and 5.3 percent for the GOP.
The study was conducted without any support from either political party.
Public Policy Polling’s recent poll found most voters don’t have strong opinions on other Senate contenders Sheirl Fletcher, a Democrat, and Pat McGeehan, a Republican.
While 25 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of Fletcher, 66 percent said they had no opinion of her. Sixty-nine percent of respondents had no opinion of McGeehan, although 22 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him.
Poll results show Capito would handily defeat Fletcher in a general election, receiving 54 percent of the vote to Fletcher’s 26 percent.
Likewise, Tennant would defeat McGeehan in the unlikely event he becomes the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate…although the margin is not nearly as large as a Capito/Fletcher race.
Forty-two percent of respondents said they would vote for Tennant if she ran against McGeehan, who would receive 32 percent of the vote.
Twenty-six percent of respondents said they were unsure who to vote for in a Tennant/McGeehan match-up.