Poll shows Justice leading Republican primary contest

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice waves to the crowd as he delivers his inauguration speech, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/ Walter Scriptunas II)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Governor Jim Justice leads his two challengers for the 2020 Republican primary nomination by double digits among registered likely voters, according to the latest edition of the MetroNews West Virginia Poll.

West Virginia’s governor leads Republican candidate Woody Thrasher by 56-21 percent margin while Mike Folk received 11 percent of the votes.

“As the Republican incumbent with two primary challengers, Governor Justice has many advantages in a primary battle,” Rex Repass, President of Research America Inc., said. “First, the Governor is well known and has high name ID, while his challengers are not well known. In fact, in our poll, more than 50 percent said they had heard little or nothing about Woody Thrasher, and about 75 percent had heard little or nothing about Mike Folk.”

WV Poll 12-12 release graphic

While the Governor’s approval rating is below 50 percent, he benefits from high name recognition among likely Republican voters, according to Repass.

“A two candidate race would likely be more competitive. However, if the race remains as it is, the two Republican challengers will need to build name ID in the run-up to the May primary, while at the same time craft a convincing narrative for undecideds and for Justice supporters to consider an alternative choice for governor,” Repass added.

The MetroNews West Virginia Poll was conducted between Dec. 4-10 among a sample of 500 West Virginia registered voters who are likely to vote in the May 2020 primary.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com