While the Republican race for Governor of West Virginia has changed drastically over the last three weeks the Democratic contest has barely moved at all: Earl Ray Tomblin is headed for an easy nomination victory in his quest to remain as Governor. Tomblin’s polling at 33% to 20% for Rick Thompson, 17% for Natalie Tennant, 11% for John Perdue, 4% for Jeff Kessler, and 1% for Arne Moltis. 1% of voters remain undecided.
Tomblin’s likely to win because he has strong appeal to the diverse ideological factions of the state’s Democratic primary electorate. He’s strongest with the more conservative voters- a 24 point advantage over Thompson with ‘somewhat conservative’ voters and a 15 point lead over him with ‘very conservative’ voters. But he’s also winning the left, with a 15 point edge on Tennant with ‘somewhat liberal’ voters and a 7 point lead on Thompson with ‘very liberal’ voters.
While Tomblin’s likely to win the race, Thompson might be able to take credit for winning the campaign. When we first polled this race in January he was at only 6%. The 14 point gain in support he’s seen over the course of the last three months is the greatest of any candidate. Tomblin’s seen an 8 point increase in his support while Tennant and Perdue have actually lost voters over the course of the campaign, down 7 points and 5 points respectively from the first poll.
Full results here.