UPDATE (2:58 p.m.): Larry Puccio, chairman of the state Democratic Party, has released another statement on the Repass poll, criticizing Republicans for “hypocritical tactics.”
“They are calling the results of the Repass Poll ‘off base’ in reference to Rep. Capito’s statistical dead heat with Sec. Tennant in a possible U.S.Senate race. At the same time, they are approvingly citing the same poll to discredit another statewide elected official,” Puccio said.
“The Republican Party wants to have their cake and eat it too, but West Virginia voters will see right through it.”
Today’s Daily Mail features the results from the August edition of the West Virginia Poll, which shows Sen. Joe Manchin‘s approval rating has fallen dramatically in recent months, and rumored U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant could give Rep. Shelley Moore Capito a run for her money next year.
As you can read in those stories, both Democrats and Republicans complain the poll is inaccurate because the sample size is not large enough, that it’s unclear whether participants are likely voters or where poll respondents live in the state.
Conrad Lucas, chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, said the poll was “flawed by design.” He said the demographics of respondents do not reflect the state’s voting populace.
“West Virginians should have no confidence in the Repass poll since last year President Obama was predicted to lose the Mountain State by only 14 points but the actual result was twice the Repass figure.
Even more off base was Attorney General Patrick Morrisey being down to Darrel McGraw by 24 points this time last year according to Repass and we saw Patrick Morrisey victorious on election day. Once again, the poll leans overwhelmingly Democrat in its predictions. “
However, Lucas said the results show Capito performing “incredibly well, especially considering she has only campaigned in one-third of the state and her likely opponent has been on a statewide ballot 6 times.”
“In that same vein, the poll is incredibly damaging to Senator Manchin showing how quickly that a record of siding with Obama on virtually every vote will destroy anyone’s credibility in West Virginia.”
State Democratic Party chairman Larry Puccio said the poll confirms there is “overwhelming support” for Tennant in a U.S. Senate campaign.
“These results are no surprise, given her years of service to the state of West Virginia, her emphasis on making the Secretary of State’s office more responsive to the needs of small businesses, and her unwavering support for West Virginia’s veterans,” Puccio said. “There can be no doubt that Secretary Tennant will make an extremely formidable candidate for United States Senate should she decide to run.”