WV Senate: Capito Up Big

Sample Size:  1444
Margin of Error:  +/- 2.58%

The sample is comprised of likely mid-term election voters who have voted in either the 2006 or 2010 elections or have registered to vote since 2010.  The poll was conducted January 21, 2013.

Capito vs. Rahall

If the election for U.S. Senator were held today, who would you vote for: Shelley Moore Capito or Nick Rahall?

Rahall is clearly the Democrats' best hope against Capito.  However, there are few places where you would see numbers like these.  One Member of Congress holding a substantial lead over another Member at the outset of a statewide campaign.

The whole story is in the regional cross tabs.  Capito is maxing out her third of the state, the Second District (61%-27%).  Meanwhile, Rahall finds himself trailing Capito by 1% (45%-46%) in his home Third District.

Geography plays an outsized role in West Virginia electoral politics.  A Rahall Senate campaign is predicated on winning his district in similar fashion to Capito.

Capito makes the gender gap look like a sliver.  She wins men 51%-32% and women 50%-31%.  Show me another Republican that’s doing that these days.

None of the three Democratic candidates held her below 50% on the ballot.

Capito vs. Goodwin

If the election for U.S. Senator were held today, who would you vote for Shelley Moore Capito or Carte Goodwin?

The 38-year-old hope of the Goodwin family is West Virginia political royalty.  His resume is longer than his years.

However, Goodwin’s few months in the Senate, following the passing of the late great Senator Robert Byrd, have no residual value.  Over half (52%) of the state has never heard of him and among those who have, his image is in the red (13% favorable, 14% unfavorable) [see Goodwin Image].

There is still incentive for Goodwin to run if Rahall takes a pass.  You don’t get a lot of opportunities to butt in line for statewide office.  And if his goal is to finish what he started in the Senate, Goodwin knows that West Virginia Senators tend to stay awhile.

Capito vs. Davis

If the election for U.S. Senator were held today, who would you vote for Shelley Moore Capito or Robin Davis?

State Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Robin Davis fares no better than the others against Capito but she boasts the best image ratings among the three Democrats (27% favorable, 15% unfavorable).

Davis is unable tighten the race with women with Capito leading 49%-23%.

Manchin Image

Is anyone in the Democratic Party shrewder than this guy?  Maybe Jon Tester.

In a state where the President from his party has a job approval at 34%-59%, Joe Manchin has an image rating that is practically in the inverse of that (57% favorable, 36% unfavorable).

Voters who describe themselves as Somewhat Conservative have a 60% favorable to 35% unfavorable opinion on Manchin.

Capito Image

Capito is clearly very popular in the state.  It’s also evident that she has not had a glove laid on her in eons.  Contrast that with Rahall [see Rahall Image].

McKinley Image

Rahall Image

Rahall has been and remains a top target in his House seat.  As a result, he endured a barrage of negative advertising in the Charleston media market throughout the fall from the NRCC and allied outside groups.

The Charleston media market covers as much of Capito’s Second District as it does Rahall’s Third District.  Therefore, the negative ads against Rahall have bled up into the district just north of his.  His image rating the Second District is 29% favorable and 38% unfavorable.  However, he remains right side up in his home Third (53% favorable, 40% unfavorable).

Davis Image

Goodwin Image

Obama Job Approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?

The President’s job performance remains unsatisfactory with everyone except Democrats (57-33%), Health care voters (50%-42%) and Education voters (56%-35%).

Generic Congressional Ballot

If the election for Congress were held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republicans hold a 9% lead statewide.  Republicans are strongest in Capito’s Second District winning 50%-33%.  While Democrats and Republicans are virtually tied in Rahall’s Third District (41%-40%).

Top Issue


On political issues, do you consider yourself to be Very Conservative, Somewhat Conservative, Moderate or Liberal?

Regions by Congressional District

CD-1 -- McKinley
CD-2 -- Capito
CD-3 -- Rahall

Party Self-identification

This is a self-identified party affiliation question.  Not a voter registration question.  But since you asked, the registration of the sample of approximately 53% Democratic to 34% Republican.



Please click the link below to download the full crosstab report for this poll.