Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Close Race in West Virginia

PPP's first look at the West Virginia Senate contest finds a very tight race with John Raese up 46-43 on Joe Manchin, a result within the poll's margin of error.

The contest provides a fascinating choice for voters in the state who love their Democratic Governor but hate the party's ranks in Washington DC that he would be joining.

Manchin is the second most popular Governor PPP has polled on all year, behind only Bobby Jindal, with a 59/32 approval spread. He breaks almost even with Republicans as 42% of them approve of the job he's doing with just 44% disapproving. In a highly polarized political climate the list of politicians with that kind of crossover popularity is very short.

At the same time West Virginians couldn't be much more down on national Democrats. Barack Obama's approval rating in the state is just 30% with 64% of voters disapproving of him. Even within his own party barely half of voters, at 51%, like the job he's doing. Support from Republicans (91% disapproval) and independents (73% disapproval) is pretty much nonexistent.

Given the President's high degree of unpopularity it's no surprise that 54% of voters in the state want Republicans to control the next Congress with just 37% wanting the Democrats to stay in charge. GOP voters (91-3) and independents (66-21) are pretty universal in their desire for a Republican majority and even 25% of Democrats say they'd like to see a change.

22% of voters in the state have the competing impulses of both liking Manchin and wanting Republicans to control the next Congress. With those folks Raese leads 57-29 and that's fueling his slight overall advantage.

Despite Manchin's 42% approval rating with Republicans he's getting only 14% of their votes. And in spite of a +8 approval spread with independents, he trails Raese 56-30 with them. Raese also leads 47-41 with another key group- the Democrats that disapprove of Obama.

These poll numbers show a much more favorable race for Raese than anything that's been released publicly to date so I'd suggest caution in declaring too much momentum for the Republicans in West Virginia before other data confirms it. But one thing is definitely clear: this race is not going to be a slam dunk for Democrats as might have been hoped at one time.

Full results here

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

OUCH

Anonymous said...

Something smells. And I think it's you poll.

Chuck T said...

I'm sure this poll will be as surprising for some here as your CA senate poll was yesterday. I think this will be close in WVA because national dems are so unpopular in the state--particularly Obama, and this isn't new, they didn't like him in 08 either. The other thing is I wonder how many folk will vote against the governor so that he continues to be their governor. I'm sure we will see some dems actually taking solace in yesterday's Rasmussen poll on the WVA contest showing the Governor leading by 7. If DE was a nice surprise for the Dems, WVA could potentially be a nightmare.

KC said...

Yes, I'd like to see other polls confirm this if true. Is Manchin not campaigning at all, ala Coakley, letting the Republican dominate the airwaves? You would think establishment candidates would learn by now from the Murkowski & Castle experience. You have to relentlessly define your opponent from Day One.

Any WV peeps care to share what they are seeing on the ground?

Anonymous said...

"These poll numbers show a much more favorable race for Raese than anything that's been released publicly to date"

It's within the margin of error of all recent polling.

For comparison, Rasmussen's latest has it 47-42 without leaners. How can you possibly claim that 46-43 is dramatically different?

Anonymous said...

did you poll WV 1 and WV 3 by any chance?

Anonymous said...

"Something smells. And I think it's you poll."

You smelt it, you dealt it.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I buy this poll, but I think it is a very competitive race.

Manchin is a popular governor, so let's keep him there and send Raese to the Senate to block the radical Obama agenda.

Zornorph said...

Interesting poll. I would have thought that Manchin's personal popularity would inoculate him from the anti-Dem wave, but I guess I'm not shocked that this is not the case. I'll make one bet, though. If Manchin doesn't win this time, he won't try again in 2012.
Honestly, I'd trade WV for CA as I'd rather see Boxer lose and I like Fiorina quite a bit, but this would be a nice consolation prize.
I wondered if Moore-Capito is kicking herself for not going for it, but she's 'establishment' and might not be the best fit this year.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my bad, you have Raese leading.

I believe that Raese is in the mid-40's, but it looks like you're missing a lot of Manchin's softer supporters. Or something.

Michael said...

Whoever wins is seated immediately, right?

Anonymous said...

If Obama decides to nationalize the elections by aggressively attacking the "Tea Party", it will cost candidates like Mancin. Mancin can win a race decided on local issues but not one decided on national issues.

Anonymous said...

Rasmussen yesterday found Manchin approval rating at 69/30, consistent with their three earlier polls, and well above 59 approval here. Ras also has Manchin winning larger portion of Dems and Reps. As you say good to have another poll to compare, preferably from a third outfit.

Not to be critical, but did you consider impact of asking about Obama's approval AND health care reform before asking about Senate race? Might have been different if first q was Manchin-Raese.

Anonymous said...

Raese should run ads that say, "We all love Manchin, and think he's a great Governor. Let's keep him in Charlestown!"

Payne said...

On the ground here in WV Raese appears to be trying to paint a vote Manchin as a vote for Obama, while Manchin is trying to make the whole race about himself and Raese. Both are quite obviously running the only campaigns that can truly come through for them. Raese doesn't have the personality to beat Manchin in a normal election cycle, but Manchin has to find a way to prove that he won't be just another yes vote for the Obama admin in Washington.

This is shaping up to be an interesting election to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Manchin for governor. Raes for senator. That's the ticket.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"If Obama decides to nationalize the elections by aggressively attacking the "Tea Party", it will cost candidates like Mancin. Mancin can win a race decided on local issues but not one decided on national issues."

It is a tricky issue, but I wouldn't say it's that definitive. The main issue confronting Dems is depressed turnout. Obama's task as the party's leader is to rally the base. And scaring them with what the alternative is if they don't vote--these nutty teabaggers getting in power and further halting his agenda--is one way to do that. No one galvanizes the base like Palin and the crazies.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Not to be critical, but did you consider impact of asking about Obama's approval AND health care reform before asking about Senate race? Might have been different if first q was Manchin-Raese."

That is the same question order as all of our public polls this entire year, and we've had quite accurate results so far.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem for Manchin is that a Raese vote means "I want to keep Manchin as my governor".

Chuck T said...

Just saw your shocker, or maybe not so shocking poll out of WI on Kos. I live in WI and can feel that Russ is in trouble and your poll confirmed this in a big way. It was interesting to compare the results to the Governors race. I do feel that Barrett is stronger, and your cross tabs indicate that among several key traditional dem groups that Barrett is running stronger than Feingold, so I think there is potential there for him. I'm afraid Russ is going to get caught up in the anti-incumbant tide in the upper midwest this year. I think Dems if they are smart will really concentrate on getting people like Boxer & Murray over the line and thanks their lucky stars for O'Donnell and also start putting some $$ in WVA.

Anonymous said...

OUCH

September 21, 2010 10:26 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something smells. And I think it's you poll.

September 21, 2010 10:27 AM

I am a center-right Independent voter and have found PPP polls pretty spot on

Anonymous said...

Blogger Dustin Ingalls said...

"If Obama decides to nationalize the elections by aggressively attacking the "Tea Party", it will cost candidates like Mancin. Mancin can win a race decided on local issues but not one decided on national issues."

It is a tricky issue, but I wouldn't say it's that definitive. The main issue confronting Dems is depressed turnout. Obama's task as the party's leader is to rally the base. And scaring them with what the alternative is if they don't vote--these nutty teabaggers getting in power and further halting his agenda--is one way to do that. No one galvanizes the base like Palin and the crazies.
------------------
A Rasmussen poll showed that likely voters identify more closely with Palin's views than Obama's by a 52 to 40% margin. I'm not sure the "nutty teabagger" smear would work even in California and Washington, but I know it won't work in WV.

Nationalizing the election as a referendum on the Tea Party would be a monumental blunder for Obama. As a Republican, I hope he makes it.

Anonymous said...

I suspect PPP has been taking crazy pills. Manchin is losing in WV, but Brown is winning in CA?

It wouldn't be the first time in the last few months a respectable pollster had a few hiccups. Gallup's generic ballot poll has been swinging back and forth like mad, and SurveyUSA's everything is out of whack.

Anyway yes, I suspect the polls.

Rebecca said...

Who pays for these Polls? Raese? Who writes the Polling scripts? Raese? Why did you leave out the other Candidate running for this office?
Jesse Johnson, Mountain Party. You appear to be no better than the biased, paid off media that leaves out Mountain Party information, acknowledement, etc. and misleads and misinforms West Virginian's

Rebecca said...

I like Anonymous that said, I'll quote to get it exactly right:
"Something smells. And I think it's you poll."

George Templeton said...

I am stunned by your poll as well. I can understand that West Virginians don't like Congress or Obama but Manchin is not them and has made it clear that he hasn't governed like them (the U.S. Chamber of Congress endorsement makes that point as well). In the end doesn't his favoribility ultimately trump all?

wt said...

I think a lot of Democrats will take comfort in the fact that you left out Jesse Johnson, Mountain Party. He will siphon 5, maybe even 10 from Raese.

Not, not 5-10%. 5-10. :)

Anonymous said...

"A Rasmussen poll showed that likely voters identify more closely with Palin's views than Obama's by a 52 to 40% margin."

You can stop after the third word. Rasmussen's horse race polls are pften problematic, but his issue questions are downrated biased and loaded. They wouldn't pass Polling 101.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Who pays for these Polls? Raese?"

No one. It's an independent poll financed by our own profits from our private client work.

"Who writes the Polling scripts? Raese?"

We do, with suggestions from our blog readership.

Christian Liberty said...

"I wondered if Moore-Capito is kicking herself for not going for it, but she's 'establishment' and might not be the best fit this year."

She can win the 2014 seat when Rockefeller retires, as expected, so she was probably wise to wait for a more provident contest for which she could better prepare.

Even if for some reason Rockefeller were to try to hold on, she (or another candidate) could likely defeat him in 2014. The 2014 senate class will be contested in more conservative states than the 2010 class and her moderate positions make her a better contrast to Rockefeller (or whatever leftist extremist the base puts up in 2014) rather than against Manchin.

still, the question of Moore-Capito as too moderate and too establishment would remain in 2014. By 2014, we would be seven years into the 8-9 year long bear market that began in 2007. social mood would be, if anything, more bearish than today and politics would likely be more polarized rather than less. If she were to seek the senate seat, her biggest competition would likely be from her right rather than in November.

Christian Liberty said...

Was your poll taken before or after (or during?) the revelations that the Manchin administration is under federal investigation?

http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/103348024.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A Rasmussen poll showed that likely voters identify more closely with Palin's views than Obama's by a 52 to 40% margin."

You can stop after the third word. Rasmussen's horse race polls are pften problematic, but his issue questions are downrated biased and loaded. They wouldn't pass Polling 101.
----------------
Not true. His polls have an excellent track record in predicting actual election results. Look it up.

Rassmussen polls ofter differ from other polls because he uses a tight likely voter screen, while many other polls use all registered voters or even all adults. For this election identifying likely voters is essential because of the vast difference in enthusiasm between the two parties.

rowdygirl said...

Speaking as a West Virginian I can say that I'm glad this is turning into an actual race. For all of my life, it's always been Byrd & the Democrats; it's time for someone else to have a chance.
I actually worked for one of the companies that Raese co-owns and I can honestly say that he IS a good businessman. I'm not on his payroll now and haven't been for about 10 years, but he has people working for him that have been around for 25, 30 or even 40 years. That's not exactly common anymore. I think he needs a chance to prove that a conservative can do just as good a job or better than just another Byrd protege.

Anonymous said...

"Was your poll taken before or after (or during?) the revelations that the Manchin administration is under federal investigation?"

That news has been out for a long while, though a few more details trickled out this week after the poll was taken.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Not true. His polls have an excellent track record in predicting actual election results. Look it up."

Not as good as ours, though. And that has little bearing, though, on the quality of their issue polling.

Joel said...

Rasmussen has gotten it wrong. Now PPP has gotten it wrong. Rasmussen deliberately chose to get it wrong in their latest poll. I wonder if PPP is any better than Rasmussen?

Why do I say this? Rasmussen inaccurately chose to only include Manchin (D) and Raese (R) in its previous polls. I called the Director of Communications to alert her to the fact that they failed to include Jesse Johnson of the Mountain Party, a very strong third-party contender for this race.

She and her staff were informed of the following information: a) Jesse received 4.5% of the vote in 2008 when he ran for Governor; b) a recent poll by the Charleston Daily Mail had Jesse polling in 2nd place with 36% of the vote; c) Jesse recently received the endorsement of legendary Democratic congressman / Secretary of State / advisor to Presitend Truman, Ken Hechler, which made big news; d) though unquantifiable, Jesse is receiving several times the press and support that he did in 2008.

Rasmussen deliberately ignored this information. Will PPP do the right thing and include Jesse Johnson of the Mountain Party in its next poll for the U.S. Senate race from WV?

M. Simon said...

The problem with national Dems in WV can be expressed pretty much in one word.

COAL.

Anonymous said...

Are you Jesse Johnson people like the Alex Snitker astroturfers who won't give up until you're included in a poll, only to show you're polling at like 1%?

wt said...

Not to engage the sock puppets too much, but the Mountain Party is apparently an affiliate of the Green Party.

Do people in West Virginia know that? It looks like Johnson took 4.5% of the vote as a Green candidate, not the Mountain Party candidate. A pretty hefty number though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Johnson_(politician)

Even if he's peeling off 1 or 2 percent though, that could help Raese for sure. So maybe he should be included next time? Not that I think it would change the numbers dramatically.

The Interesting Times said...

Fascinating.

These poll results are even more favorable to Raese than Rasmussen's. That in itself is surprising.

Then again, PPP has a record of picking out imminent Republican wins even when Rasmussen and other pollsters miss what's coming.

DBL said...

It's a bit more complicated than just coal. A lot of working class whites feel like Democrats don't fight for union guys. Instead they emphasize climate change, immigration, abortion and are against guns and Christianity. The Democratic coalition includes a number of different groups with completely divergent interests. These guys feel like they've given to everyone else and ignored them.

Rebecca said...

I would like to reply to "wt":
"Not to engage the sock puppets too much, but the Mountain Party is apparently an affiliate of the Green Party.
Do people in West Virginia know that? It looks like Johnson took 4.5% of the vote as a Green candidate, not the Mountain Party candidate. A pretty hefty number though."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Johnson_(politician)

First of all the Mountain Party is a stand alone party. ONE of THREE official WV Political parties for the last decade in WV. Check out the WV Secretary of States website if you can't believe that.

2nd. West Virginia knows that the Mountain Party is an AFFILIATE of the Green Party, it's public knowledge. Nothing to be ashamed of?? Do you know what that means? It means that because of the Mtn. Party, the Green party was given a Presidential line in the 2008 election.

The Mountain Party, by virtue of Jesse Johnson running for Gov. in 2008, received almost 35,000 votes from West Virginians. A third party record for the State of WV and NATIONALLY for that election cycle.

3rd. Wiki? PLEASE. Do you know that anyone can add or edit those wiki pages? They are done by volunteers, if you rely on Wiki for your reliable info, lol, then you are in a sad state.

Please, the next time you want to ignorantly spread info about someone, contact them first?
See if Manchin call you back, or Raese?

Here is Jesse's contact info, also known to the public: www.jesse4ussenate.org Face Book: jesse4ussenate; 304.581.3005. Give him a call. And, I am CERTAIN he will speak with you directly to clear up any misconceptions you might have. Thank you!

MrsClark said...

WV Resident here. As for commercials, I have seen three, there is a Raese commercial that runs constantly linking Manchin to Obama calling him a rubber stamp for the Obama agenda basically. This ran for weeks before there was anything from Manchin. Then I saw ONE from Manchin that basically whined "Raese is attacking me, just like he did Byrd" but he took no stand on any issues. Then Manchin ran a second one in which he took no stand on any issues and attacked Raese. But I have only seen them once, and I am home all day, soooo noone else is seeing them either. I see no signs on the road for Manchin, I see Raese signs in yards. You wouldn't even know the guy was running!

John F said...

I live in WV and this poll reflects the general sentiment. Manchin's ads are targeted at Raese personally but say nothing on policy. Raese's ads are simple - He wont be a rubber stamp for Barack Obama. If Manchin loses, and I hope he does, it will be a referendum on Obama, not Manchin.

Anonymous said...

West Virginians are tired of our politicians talking like WV Democrats in the state and governing like New England Democrats in Washington. It doesn't surprise me a bit to see Raese, despite his high negatives, giving Joe a run for his money. Lookout Mike Oliverio and Nick Rahal!

Anonymous said...

The last thing West Virginia and the rest of the country needs is another Obama rubber stamp in Washington. The democrats have proven beyond a doubt that they are out to destroy the America the Greatest Generation fought to give us.

richierich said...

Are West Virginians really that gullible?? We're falling prey to the rhetoric against Obama. He's the ONLY president in decades who is trying to protect the middle class from extinction! The middle class - THAT'S US!! It's the lack of support from bought-and-paid-for Dems and the Republican aristocrats who are holding back the economy and real reform in Washington. Open your eyes!! Do you like our government being controlled by banks, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, oil companies, etc., etc. If not for Obama, the BP oil spill expenses would have been borne by the TAXPAYERS. And the bank bailout was a product of the waning days of Bush and the ex-bankers running the Treasury. We need legislators who are going to support Obama's reforms, or we'll continue on our path toward an "upper class" and a "servant class".

Anonymous said...

I live in Morgantown, WV, and I am seeing/hearing absolutely no campaign from Manchin. Raese has radio commercials, yard signs, TV commercials, and the whole bit. I think Manchin is just counting on his name to win his campaign.

Anonymous said...

when manchin ran for governer he was accused of being a republican running as a democrat now raese depicts him as a lefty. can we believe the national polls as news paper owner raese once told a reporter "i buy and sell people like you every day" long live snobby aragance.

 
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