Trump Has Big Lead in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Donald Trump has a commanding 14-point lead over Joe Biden among likely voters in West Virginia, according to the latest edition of the MetroNews West Virginia Poll. They also believe Trump will do a better job handling national issues than Americans overall.

Rex Repass, President of Research America Inc., reported these results today on MetroNews TalkLine with Hoppy Kercheval. The poll of 450 likely voters was conducted October 1 to 6 after the first presidential debate.

Trump leads 53 percent-to-39 percent over Biden, while Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen trails with four percent and Mountain Party candidate Howie Hawkins has one percent of support. Three percent of likely voters remain undecided.

“Donald Trump continues to dominate the presidential race in West Virginia as he did in 2016,” Repass said. “Biden’s strength is among younger voters, age 18-34, and he is performing better than presidential candidate Hilary Clinton did in the 2016 general presidential election in West Virginia.”

Nationally, Biden leads 54 percent-to-42 percent over Trump, according to the ABC/Washington Post conducted Oct. 6-9 among 725 likely voters nationwide.

Examining issues West Virginia voters believe Trump will do a better job handling the economy (59%), crime (58%), the coronavirus pandemic (51%), and race relations (50%) than his challenger.
This trend differs from the national survey completed by NPR/Marist Poll. In the national poll, Americans believe Biden will do a better job with the coronavirus pandemic (54%) and race relations (56%), according to Repass.

“Overall, West Virginia voters like how President Trump is handling the major issues, although it is contrary to the nation as a whole,” Repass said. “West Virginia voters have confidence in Trump’s leadership abilities and support his relection.”

In the race for the U.S. Senate seat, Shelley Moore Capito leads Paula Jean Swearingin, 53 percent to 33 percent, while Libertarian candidate David Moran trails with five percent and nine percent of likely voters remain undecided.

The MetroNews West Virginia Poll was conducted between Oct. 1 to 6 among a sample of 450 West Virginia registered voters who are likely to vote in the upcoming November 3rd general election. The overall confidence interval for the survey is +/- 4.6 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
[See additional poll results on pp. 3-4]

Methodology Statement
Results of this edition of MetroNews West Virginia Poll are based on interviews conducted between Oct. 1-6, 2020 with a sample of 450 West Virginia registered voters who are likely to vote in the upcoming November 3rd national general election, including registered Democrats, Republicans, Libertarian, Mountain Party, and unaffiliated or independent voters. Data collection was completed online and by telephone with purchased sample of registered voters who are likely to vote in general elections.

Registered likely voters in all 55 West Virginia counties were sampled and screened for near certainty that they plan to vote. After completion of data collection, the data was modeled to likely voters, actual voter registration in the state, and expected turnout.

When using sample of registered voters and hybrid data collection (online and telephone) it is not appropriate to apply a probability-based margin of error to interviews completed. However, applying statistical tests of significance to each question asked at the 95 percent confidence interval yields an overall statistical error of +/- 4.6 percentage points based on the 450 interviews. The 95 percent confidence interval varies by question.

The purpose of the West Virginia Poll is to provide a snapshot of opinion and timely voter views in the Mountain State. The media sponsor of the West Virginia Poll is MetroNews Radio Network.

Rex Repass is director of the West Virginia Poll and president of Research America Inc. Repass is responsible for questionnaire design, the respondent screening and selection process, data tabulation, statistical analysis, and reporting of results.

The MetroNews West Virginia Poll is a non-partisan survey of public opinion conducted by Repass and Research America Inc. The West Virginia Poll has been directed by Repass and conducted periodically since January 21, 1980. The name The West Virginia Poll is a trademark owned by Research America Inc; all rights reserved.

Respondent Profile
Gender [n=450]
Male 50%
Female 50%

Age [n=450]
18-24 6%
25-34 15%
35-44 20%
45-54 19%
55-64 21%
65+ 19%

Region of West Virginia [n=450]
Northern 49%
Southern 51%

Political party affiliation [n=450]
Democrat 35%
Republican 40%
Independent 23%
Other 2%

Political Orientation [n=450]
Conservative 40%
Moderate 31%
Liberal 30%

Education [n=450]
High School 24%
Some College 40%
Bachelor’s 22%
Master’s + 14%

Household Income [n=450]
< $75K 69% > $75K 27%

Topline Findings

If the election for President of the United States were being held TODAY, would you vote for? [n=450]

[53%] Donald Trump, the Republican Party candidate
[39%] Joe Biden, the Democratic Party candidate
[4%] Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party candidate
[1%] Howie Hawkins, the Mountain Party candidate
[3%] Not sure

Who do you think would better handle the following issues as President of the United States? [n=450]

Finally, as you may or may not know there will also be an election for US Senator from West Virginia in the general election in November. If that election were being held TODAY who would you vote for? [n=450]

[53%] Shelly Moore Capito, the Republican Party candidate
[33%] Paula Jean Swearengin, the Democratic Party candidate
[5%] David Moran, the Libertarian Party candidate
[9%] Not sure

Note: some percentages may not total 100% due to rounding error

About Research America Inc.
Research America Inc. is a custom survey research and strategic consulting firm. The firm’s services range from consulting with clients to identify research objectives, through study design, data collection, analysis, and research-based strategy recommendations. For more information see www.researchamericainc.com.

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