MORGANTOWN – With less than a week before the election, incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin leads Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey by five percentage points among likely voters in the U.S. Senate race, according to the latest MetroNews/Dominion Post West Virginia Poll.
Based on data collected Oct. 19-30, Manchin holds a 45 percent to 40 percent lead over Morrisey, who is the state Attorney General. Libertarian candidate Rusty Hollen received 11 percent, and five percent were undecided. The results were released Nov. 1.
“Senator Manchin’s lead appears to have slipped slightly from eight percentage points in our late August poll to five percentage points,” said Rex Repass, director of the West Virginia Poll and president of Research America Inc. “We designed the methodology to identify likely voters as thoroughly as possible and only interview registered voters who have either voted early or plan to vote next Tuesday.”
Repass said enthusiasm for this year’s election plays a role in who voters will support.
“Among early voters – those who claim to have voted absentee or early, Morrisey leads Manchin by two percentage points,” he said. “To be clear, however, the segment of voters who voted early is only about 16 percent of the total.
“Among poll respondents who are waiting until next Tuesday to vote, Manchin appears to have a slight enthusiasm advantage.”
Hollen’s support is strongest among those voters who identify themselves as liberal or leaning liberal (15 percent) and among women (13 percent).
“While historically, it would be unique if a third-party candidate in West Virginia received 10 percent or more of the vote, Hollen may be the beneficiary of the more liberal wing of the Democratic party and women who are upset with Senator Manchin’s vote for Brett Kavanaugh,” Repass said.
Manchin and Morrisey debate Nov. 1 in Morgantown. The general election in Nov. 6.