West Virginia officials receive high marks in poll | News, Sports, Jobs
WHITE SULFUR SPRINGS – Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin all enjoy public support, according to the latest WV MetroNews West Virginia poll.
The results of the annual survey were presented Friday at the 85th Annual Meeting and Business Summit of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce at the Greenbrier Resort. The West Virginia poll, conducted by Research America, polled 400 registered voters between August 20 and 25 via online and telephone polls.
Of those polled, 61% said they approved of the work Justice was doing, 25% disapproved and 14% unsure. According to the survey report, the number of job approvals by Justice began to increase in 2019 and has continued to increase over the past two years, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When evaluating Justice’s response to the pandemic, 43% were somewhat satisfied and 28% were very satisfied, while 12% were somewhat dissatisfied and 9% were very dissatisfied. Justice has refused to implement a new indoor mask mandate for public spaces or to require a statewide mask mandate for public schools, leaving decisions on masks to school boards county and health services. Justice continued to push tests for COVID-19 and vaccines.
When interviewees were asked about their views on several state and national political figures and institutions, the judiciary received the highest favorable rating. Of those polled, 56 percent had a favorable opinion of the two-term governor, while 25 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 19 percent were unsure.
Despite the loss of the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump still enjoys a high favor rate with 55% of respondents having a favorable opinion, while 40% had an unfavorable opinion and 5% were unsure.
The man who defeated Trump, President Joe Biden, had the lowest favor numbers, with 48% having an unfavorable opinion and 30% having a favorable opinion and 22% uncertain. When it comes to job approval, 57% have disapproved of Biden’s professional performance since taking office in January, while 36% approved and 7% were unsure.
Showing West Virginia’s shift to a majority of registered Republican voters, respondents had a 49 percent favorable opinion of the Republican Party, with 37 percent an unfavorable opinion and 14 percent unsure. The Democratic Party had an unfavorable rating of 52% and a favorable rating of 36% with 12% uncertain. The Republican-led majorities in the West Virginia legislature had a 46 percent favorable rating, a 25 percent unfavorable rating, and 29 percent unsure.
The two West Virginia US Senators at the heart of federal infrastructure negotiations both enjoy support from the respondents. Capito had a 45 percent preference rating, with 25 percent unfavorable and 30 percent unsure. When approving the job, Capito had 52% support, 25% disapproval, and 23% doubt.
Manchin had a 42 percent favor rate, 38 percent unfavorable rate, and 20 percent uncertainty. Manchin had a job approval rating of 42 percent, with a disapproval rating of 37 percent and 21 percent unsure. According to the poll report, Manchin’s approval has plummeted over the years, from 49% in 2019 to 42% according to the new West Virginia poll.
Despite the positive opinions of Manchin and Capito, the Congress obtained the least favorable rating of all the political figures and institutions questioned. Respondents gave Congress an unfavorable rating of 48%,
30 percent had a favorable rating and 22 percent were unsure. Respondents were also pessimistic about the direction of the country, with 66% saying the United States was going in the wrong direction, compared to 34% who said the nation was going in the right direction.
The negative view of the direction of the country among the respondents did not reflect on their opinion of the direction of the state. According to the poll, 54% think the state is going in the right direction, while 47% think the state is going in the wrong direction.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the delta variant, 33 percent of those polled said they were somewhat concerned and 40 percent were very concerned, while 14 percent said they weren’t overly concerned and 9 percent weren’t concerned about everything, leaving 5 percent unsure. Seven in 10 respondents said they had been vaccinated, with 8% of them stating that they planned to be vaccinated.
(Adams can be contacted at [email protected])