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The Zogby Poll℠: Manchin leads potential foes in West Virginia senate race; Generic republican beating democrat

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A new Zogby Analytics online survey of 320 likely voters in West Virginia conducted between 9/27/17 -9/30/17 with a MOE of +/-5.5 percentage points focused on three potential general election match-ups for the 2018 West Virginia senate seat held by incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin. The senator leads Republican challengers Congressman Alex Mooney 49%-35% and Congressman Evan Jenkins 49% to 36% respectively. In another potential showdown, Senator Manchin's lead is much less when matched-up against republican opponent, West Virginian Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who has not officially declared he is running but is thought to be contemplating a run. Manchin leads Morrisey 45% to 38%, with 17% of voters not sure. Interestingly, when we ask voters, "In the 2018 election for United States Senate, would you generally prefer to vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate"?, more voters say the Republican candidate (40%) than the Democratic candidate (35%), while 6% say someone else, and 19% are not sure.

Even though Joe Manchin currently leads all three republican opponents, the generic race should be somewhat of a concern to democrats, especially when our poll finds three in five West Virginians think the state is on the wrong track compared to only three in ten who think the state is headed in the right direction.

Another indicator that might be of help to a Republican candidate in 2018, is when we ask voters "Considering your finances, are you better off, worse off, or about the same now as you were four years ago", a quarter (24%) of voters say they are better off, more than a third (36%) say they are worse off, and 38% say their finances are about the same. It will be tough to unseat a popular Senator such as Joe Manchin, but there are some issues republicans can use to make the race close or create an upset.

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