West Virginia Governor Poll
Democratic Primary
April 9-11, 2015

In an early look at the West Virginia Democratic Primary field, our survey found the three potential Democratic candidates at this stage with favorable images, and Joe Manchin with a significant lead on the ballot.

Gubernatorial Democratic Primary Ballot

On the Democratic primary ballot, Manchin leads with 60%, followed distantly by Goodwin (14%) and Kessler (13%). Manchin leads in all three media markets, but really runs away with it in the Bluefield media market, where his image was strongest (Manchin: 79%, Kessler: 11%, Goodwin: 5%). He also leads among both women (Manchin: 65%, Goodwin: 12%, Kessler: 11%) and men (Manchin: 54%, Goodwin: 16%, Kessler: 15%). 

Q: If the Democratic primary election for Governor were held today, which of the following candidates would you vote for: Booth Goodwin, Jeff Kessler, or Joe Manchin?

Candidate Images

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin has an impressive +22% margin of favorability (43% favorable, 21% unfavorable), while State Senator Jeff Kessler also starts early with a strong image at 40% favorable to 26% unfavorable. But in an indicator of his dominance in his home state, Senator and former Governor Joe Manchin’s 70% favorable rating and 97% hard name identification outshines the others. 

Goodwin is able to crest the 50% mark among voters in the Charleston-Huntington media market (56% favorable, 24% unfavorable) and is also well-liked among Moderate Democrats (53% favorable, 18% unfavorable). 
Jeff Kessler is viewed favorably by both women (37% favorable, 18% unfavorable) and men (42% favorable, 34% unfavorable), although he is more of an unknown to women (44% not sure). 

As is evident from his overall image, Manchin is popular among all demographic groups, but standouts include voters in the Bluefield- Beckley- Oak Hill media market (82% favorable, 56% very favorable), women (74% favorable, 46% very favorable), and those aged 66 or older (77% favorable, 51% very favorable). 

METHODOLOGY:
The sample size for the survey is 365 likely Democratic primary voters in West Virginia and the margin of error is +/- 5.13%. Reponses were gathered through land line interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR).  The survey was conducted April 9-11, 2015 by Harper Polling. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Harper Polling