08 March 2010

Mixed Results for W.Va. Dems in Poll

The attitudes of West Virginia voters heading into this year's elections may be glimpsed in polling conducted by supporters of Gov. Joe Manchin's Supreme Court public financing bill:

  • 36 percent said they were more likely to vote for Republican congressional candidates compared to 35 percent more likely to go with Democrats, even though 49 percent considered themselves Democratic/leaning versus 37 percent Republican/leaning (and 61 percent said they were registered Democrats, versus 32 percent Republican);
  • 43 percent thought West Virginia was moving in the right direction, while 40 percent indicated wrong direction;
  • Manchin scored a 76 percent favorable rating and a 77 percent job approval rating;
  • 55 percent viewed the Legislature favorably, 34 percent unfavorably;
  • 58 percent were favorable toward the state Supreme Court, though another 22 offered no rating; 54 percent approved of its performance;
  • Justice Brent Benjamin's favorables/unfavorables were 13 percent/18 percent, with only 31 percent identifying him and 69 percent offering no rating;
  • Justice Robin Davis scored a 17 percent/6 percent, with a 23 percent name recognition and 77 percent declining to rate her.
  • The poll also asked about Don Blankenship. The Massey CEO was rated 23 percent favorable/33 percent unfavorable, with 56 able to ID him.
The Legislature's poll numbers appear to buck a trend that Politico sees for statehouses elsewhere. "Numerous" state legislatures are "bottoming out" in recent polling, the article said, "showing off-the-charts disapproval ratings accompanied by stunning levels of voter cynicism."

Governors in other states sport dismal job performance numbers as well. Public Policy Polling had an item on the subject in January.

Anzalone Liszt Research, which works with Democratic candidates, interviewed 600 registered West Virginia voters from Feb. 21-24 for the poll released Monday. The margin of error was +/- 4 percentage points.

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