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Dems Doing Well in Senate, CD03

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trump popular, but not decisive factor

West Long Branch, NJ – Incumbent Joe Manchin holds a small lead over GOP challenger Patrick Morrisey in the race for U.S. Senate in the deep red state of West Virginia.  Even though Donald Trump is widely popular in West Virginia, the Democrat holds a lead because many voters are separating their feelings about the incumbent senator from their views of the president.  The Monmouth University Poll also finds that the closely watched 3rd Congressional District contest is tighter, with Democrat Richard Ojeda having a very slight lead over Republican Carol Miller at this time.

West Virginia Senate

In the race for U.S. Senate, Manchin holds a 48% to 39% lead over Morrisey among all potential voters – that is voters who have participated in an election since 2010 or have newly registered to vote (a group that represents about 73% of all registered voters). Another 4% support Don Blankenship, who is seeking to run as the Constitution Party candidate after losing his bid for the GOP nomination. West Virginia has a “sore loser” law that may prevent him from appearing on the general election ballot. When Blankenship’s supporters are reallocated to their second choice, Manchin maintains a 49% to 42% lead.

The race looks very similar using two different likely voter models. A historical midterm model gives Manchin a 49% to 40% lead over Morrisey with Blankenship in the race, and a 50% to 43% lead without. Using a model that includes a turnout surge in areas where Democrats tend to perform more strongly gives a Manchin a 50% to 39% lead when including Blankenship and 51% to 42% lead without the Constitution Party candidate.

Manchin’s support is broad based, but he does especially well among voters age 65 and older (57% to 34% for Morrisey). In addition to holding an 84% – 7% advantage among self-identified Democrats, the incumbent has a 54% – 30% lead among independents. Manchin also nabs 17% of the Republican vote against 70% for Morrisey.

“West Virginia may be a deep red in presidential elections, but Joe Manchin has carved out a niche for himself, especially among older voters who see him as the type of Democrat they used to support for decades,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Manchin – an 8-year incumbent as well as a former governor – is doing well despite the popularity of Pres. Trump, who earns a 67% approve to 29% disapprove rating from voters in West Virginia. In fact, nearly half (49%) say they strongly approve of the job Trump is doing. A plurality (41%) of voters say that Manchin has not been supportive enough of Trump, compared to 32% who say the Democratic senator has offered the right amount of support and 12% who say he has been too supportive.

Furthermore, 66% say they support what Trump is doing on most issues and just 29% oppose. Nearly 6-in-10 (58%) say it is very important for them to cast a vote for Congress that shows how they feel about the president. Among those who say that Trump is a very important factor in their vote, Morrisey holds a nominal 48% to 46% lead over Manchin. But among the 4-in-10 voters who say that Trump is not a very important consideration in their vote, Manchin has a sizable 54% to 33% advantage.

“Manchin is ahead in this race largely because of voters who are focused on how they feel about the person currently occupying the senate seat rather than the occupant of the Oval Office,” said Murray.

Half (50%) of West Virginia’s voters say Manchin understands the day to day concerns of people like them compared to 43% who say he does not. Only 31% feel that Morrisey – the state’s Attorney General who also once ran for Congress in New Jersey – understands their concerns while 43% say he does not.

More West Virginia voters (44%) have a favorable opinion of Manchin than have an unfavorable one (35%), while 22% express no opinion.  Morrisey is not as well known or well liked, having a 25% favorable and 30% unfavorable rating, with 45% expressing no opinion. For the record, Blankenship – who served jail time for safety violations that led to the death of 29 coal miners – is largely unpopular, earning a 11% favorable to 57% unfavorable rating from voters statewide with 32% offering no opinion.

WV-03 House

The contest for the open seat in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District is tight, with Democrat Ojeda at 43% and Republican Miller at 41%. Currently, likely voter models give the edge to Ojeda with a 47% to 41% lead in a historical midterm turnout scenario and a 48% to 39% lead using a Democratic surge model.

More WV-03 voters (40%) say Ojeda understands the day to day concerns of people like them than say he does not (23%).  By comparison, 33% feel that Miller understands their concerns as opposed to 22% who say she does not.  More WV-03 voters (33%) have a favorable opinion of Ojeda than an unfavorable one (14%), but half (53%) express no opinion.  Miller gets a 27% favorable and 10% unfavorable rating, with 63% expressing no opinion.

“Unlike other hotly contested House races in the country where dislike of the president is giving Democrats a boost, this West Virginia district seems to be competitive because the Democratic candidate has his own populist persona. But neither candidate is particularly well know yet, so this dynamic could change” said Murray. Of note, interviews for the poll were nearly complete before an interview was published this week in which Ojeda said that he voted for Trump in 2016.

Pres. Trump earns a 66% approve – including 49% who strongly approve – to 30% disapprove job rating from voters in WV-03. Similarly, 65% say they support what Trump is doing on most issues and just 29% oppose. Nearly 6-in-10 (59%) say it is very important for them to cast a vote for Congress that shows how they feel about the president. Among those who say that Trump is a very important factor in their vote, Miller holds a small 44% to 40% lead over Ojeda. But among the 4-in-10 voters who say that Trump is not very important to their vote, Ojeda has a sizable 47% to 35% advantage.

Other WV House races

Republican incumbents hold sizable leads in the state’s other two congressional districts. In WV-01, David McKinley has a 68% to 22% lead over Democratic challenger Kendra Fershee among all potential voters and a 72% to 24% lead among likely voters in both models. In WV-02, Alex Mooney has a 51% to 33% lead over Democratic challenger Talley Sergent among all potential voters and a 52% to 38% lead among likely voters in both models. While the sample sizes for these two electorates are small (n=87 for WV-01 and n=138 for WV-02), the GOP candidates’ leads are outside the margin of error for the gap in all cases (maximum +/-14.4% for WV-01 and +/-13.0% for WV-02).

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from June 14 to 19, 2018 with 653 West Virginia voters, which includes a sample of 428 voters in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District – the sample was weighted to ensure that the statewide results reflect the appropriate share of voters in each congressional district.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

The statewide results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points for the full sample and +/- 4.3 percentage points for the likely voter models. The error of the gap between the two candidates’ vote share (i.e. the margin of the “lead”) is +/- 5.4 percentage points for the full sample and +/- 6.0 percentage points for the likely voter models.

The WV-03 results have a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points for the full sample and +/- 5.3 percentage points for the likely voter models. The error of the gap between the two candidates’ vote share (i.e. the margin of the “lead”) is +/- 6.6 percentage points for the full sample and +/- 7.4 percentage points for the likely voter models.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS                                                                        

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

WV STATEWIDE RESULTS

1/2. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Patrick Morrisey the Republican, Joe Manchin the Democrat, Don Blankenship of the Constitution Party, or some other candidate? [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following at this moment, do you lean more toward Patrick Morrisey or more toward Joe Manchin?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

With leaners

June 2018

 Likely Voter Models

Full voter
sample

Standard
Midterm

Democratic
“Surge”

Patrick Morrisey39%40%39%
Joe Manchin48%49%50%
Don Blankenship4%5%5%
Other2%2%2%
(VOL) Undecided6%5%5%
    (n)(653)(527)(527)

Without Blankenship

With leaners

June 2018

 Likely Voter Models

Full voter
sample

Standard
Midterm

Democratic
“Surge”

Patrick Morrisey42%43%42%
Joe Manchin49%50%51%
Other3%2%2%
(VOL) Undecided6%5%5%
    (n)(653)(527)(527)

[QUESTIONS 3 & 4 WERE ROTATED]

3. Is your general impression of Patrick Morrisey favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?

 June
2018
Favorable25%
Unfavorable30%
No opinion45%
    (n)(653)

4. Is your general impression of Joe Manchin favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?

 June
2018
Favorable44%
Unfavorable35%
No opinion22%
    (n)(653)

5. Is your general impression of Don Blankenship favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?

 June
2018
Favorable11%
Unfavorable57%
No opinion32%
    (n)(653)

[Questions 6/7 asked in WV-03 only.]

8. How much interest do you have in the upcoming election for Congress – a lot of interest, a little interest, or not much interest at all?

 June
2018
A lot55%
A little30%
Not much at all14%
(VOL) None1%
    (n)(653)

9. Have you been following the campaign for U.S. Senate very closely, somewhat closely, or not too closely?

 June
2018
Very closely20%
Somewhat closely46%
Not too closely35%
    (n)(653)

[Questions 10 asked in WV-03 only.]

11. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president? [Do you (approve/disapprove) strongly or somewhat?]

 June
2018
Strongly approve49%
Somewhat approve18%
Somewhat disapprove5%
Strongly disapprove24%
(VOL) Don’t know4%
    (n)(653)

12. On most issues would you say you support or oppose what President Trump is doing?

 June
2018
Support66%
Oppose29%
(VOL) Depends/both4%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
    (n)(653)

13. How important is it for you to cast a vote for Congress that shows your [support of/opposition to] President Trump – very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?

 June
2018
Very important58%
Somewhat important25%
Not too important5%
Not at all important5%
(VOL) Don’t know7%
    (n)(653)

14. Has Senator Joe Manchin been too supportive of Donald Trump, not supportive enough, or has he given the right amount of support to Trump?

 June
2018
Too supportive12%
Not supportive enough41%
Right amount of support32%
(VOL) Don’t know15%
    (n)(653)

[QUESTIONS 15 & 16 WERE ROTATED]

15. Do you think Patrick Morrisey does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?

 June
2018
Does31%
Does not43%
(VOL) Don’t know26%
    (n)(653)

16. Do you think Joe Manchin does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?

 June
2018
Does50%
Does not43%
(VOL) Don’t know7%
    (n)(653)

[Questions 17/18 asked in WV-03 only.]

WV-03 RESULTS

1/2. If the election for U.S. House of Representatives in your district was today, would you vote for Carol Miller the Republican or Richard Ojeda the Democrat, or some other candidate? [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following at this moment, do you lean more toward Carol Miller or more toward Richard Ojeda?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

With leaners

June 2018

 Likely Voter Models

Full voter
sample

Standard
Midterm

Democratic
“Surge”

Carol Miller41%41%39%
Richard Ojeda43%47%48%
Other3%3%3%
(VOL) Undecided13%9%10%
    (n)(428)(343)(343)

[See statewide results for questions 3/4/5.]

[QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED]

6. Is your general impression of Carol Miller favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?

 June
2018
Favorable27%
Unfavorable10%
No opinion63%
    (n)(428)

7. Is your general impression of Richard Ojeda favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?

 June
2018
Favorable33%
Unfavorable14%
No opinion53%
    (n)(428)

8. How much interest do you have in the upcoming election for Congress – a lot of interest, a little interest, or not much interest at all?

 June
2018
A lot56%
A little29%
Not much at all15%
(VOL) None0%
    (n)(428)

[See statewide results for question 9.]

10. Have you been following the campaign in your congressional district very closely, somewhat closely, or not too closely?

 June
2018
Very closely18%
Somewhat closely38%
Not too closely44%
    (n)(428)

11. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president? [Do you (approve/disapprove) strongly or somewhat?]

 June
2018
Strongly approve49%
Somewhat approve17%
Somewhat disapprove7%
Strongly disapprove23%
(VOL) Don’t know4%
    (n)(428)

12. On most issues would you say you support or oppose what President Trump is doing?

 June
2018
Support65%
Oppose29%
(VOL) Depends/both4%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
    (n)(428)

13. How important is it for you to cast a vote for Congress that shows your [support of/opposition to] President Trump – very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?

 June
2018
Very important59%
Somewhat important24%
Not too important5%
Not at all important5%
(VOL) Don’t know7%
    (n)(428)

[See statewide results for questions 14/15/16.]

[QUESTIONS 17 & 18 WERE ROTATED]

17. Do you think Carol Miller does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?

 June
2018
Does33%
Does not22%
(VOL) Don’t know46%
    (n)(428)

18. Do you think Richard Ojeda does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?

 June
2018
Does40%
Does not23%
(VOL) Don’t know38%
    (n)(428)

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from June 14 to 19, 2018 with a random sample of 653 potential voters in West Virginia, drawn from a list of registered voters who voted in at least one of the last four general or primary elections, or have registered to vote since January 2016. This includes 390 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 263 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, party registration, age, gender, education and race based on state voter registration list and U.S. Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and L2 (voter sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted) 

West Virginia Statewide

West Virginia CD03

Party Registration

Party Registration

36%  Republican30%  Republican
44%  Democrat52%  Democrat
20%  Neither18%  Neither
  
  

Self-Reported Party ID

Self-Reported Party ID

39%  Republican33%  Republican
32%  Independent33%  Independent
29%  Democrat34%  Democrat
  
50%  Male48%  Male
50%  Female52%  Female
  
13%  18-3414%  18-34
20%  35-4921%  35-49
34%  50-6431%  50-64
33%  65+34%  65+
  
95% White94% White

5% Other

6% Other

  
76%  No college degree81%  No college degree
24%  4-year college degree19%  4-year college degree
  
34%   1st  Cong. District 
34%   2nd  Cong. District 
32%   3rd  Cong. District 
  

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with crosstabs