A new poll puts Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin ahead of likely Republican challengers in the 2018 race for U.S. Senate.
The poll, sponsored by West Virginia MetroNews and conducted by Research America, Inc., puts Manchin 10 points ahead of Congressman Evan Jenkins (50 percent to 40 percent) and 14 points ahead of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (52 percent to 38 percent). Both Jenkins and Morrisey have announced their candidacy for the Republican Primary slated for May 2018.
“Senator Manchin’s personality and message resonates with West Virginia voters,” said poll director Rex Repass in a news release. “He’s a former two term governor, has been in the Senate since 2010 and has a record in most cases aligns with West Virginia voters.”
Repass also noted President Donald Trump’s popularity in West Virginia and the turning of the political tide from Democrat to Republican over the course of recent elections. He called Jenkins and Morrisey “potentially strong candidates” to oppose Manchin in 2018.
“Morrisey has run two successful statewide campaigns, and Jenkins, a former Democrat, is popular in his congressional district,” said Repass.
Results of the poll are based on interviews conducted between August 11 and 20, with a sample of 400 likely voters in West Virginia -- including registered Democrats, Republicans, Libertarian, Mountain Party, and unaffiliated or independent voters. Researchers contacted respondents by landline, cell phone and an opt-in internet panel.
Manchin's Democratic primary challenger, Paula Jean Swearengin, was not mentioned in the survey or polling results.