Survey shows race for West Virginia AG a close one

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 26, 2016

CHARLESTON – A recent survey among likely West Virginia voters has incumbent Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Democratic challenger Doug Reynolds in a statistical dead heat.

The survey, conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, shows Morrisey pulling in 37 percent of the vote among those surveyed, and Reynolds garnering 36 percent. The survey was commissioned by the Reynolds campaign, and surveyed a representative sample of 500 likely voters in West Virginia. It has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

“We’re extremely pleased, but not surprised by the poll results,” Reynolds campaign spokeswoman Lynette Maselli said. “We’ve always known that when given the facts about each candidate, voters wouldn’t be swayed by the negative attack ads run by Morrisey and his Washington, D.C., friends and pharmaceutical backers who control Morrisey’s out-of-state Super PAC.”

In response, Morrisey's campaign spokeswoman called out Reynolds.

"Today, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is in Washington, D.C., fighting to end Obama's Power Plan and to save thousands of West Virginian's jobs," Kayla Berube said Sept. 26. "Morrisey's office is leading the 27-state coalition opposed to the Power Plan and obtained the historic stay of the Plan at the U.S. Supreme Court in February.

"As voters learn more about Doug Reynolds' history of supporting Hillary Clinton and President Obama and their anti-coal policies, including cap and trade, we believe they will vote for Patrick Morrisey. In fact, liberal Doug Reynolds co-sponsored a bill that would have limited the Attorney General's ability to sue the EPA."

Maselli said that while West Virginians are voting for Republican Donald Trump for President by a significant margin, they still back Democrats in state races.

“Doug has made up tremendous ground in the race,” Maselli said. “He trails Morrisey by a narrow margin; however, our survey shows that as Doug continues to communicate his message his support will continue to grow.

"And, while the poll shows Doug within striking distance of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Democratic candidate Jim Justice has a 13 point lead over Senator Bill Cole in the race to be West Virginia’s next Governor.”

Behind Morrisey and Reynolds in the survey, Libertarian candidate Karl Kolenich drew 5 percent and Mountain Party candidate Michael Sharley 4 percent. The survey found 18 percent of voters remain undecided.

The general election is Nov. 8.

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