West Virginia’s Republican Gov. Jim Justice, who is weighing a senate bid in 2024, is more popular among the state’s blue voters than Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, according to a Wednesday poll.
Justice received a 52% approval rating from West Virginia Democratic voters while Manchin garnered 49% support, according to a Morning Consult poll. The senator’s disapproval rating was also 24-points-higher among all of the state’s voters than the governor, who said he’s “seriously considering” running against Manchin for Senate.
The governor also received more support than Manchin among West Virginia’s independent and Republican voters, the poll indicates. Justice scored 63% of Independent voters’ support compared to the senator’s 35%, and the governor topped Manchin’s GOP support by 43 points.
Among those who support Manchin, 86% also approve of Justice, whereas only 49% of the governor’s supporters also approve of Manchin.
Justice, who is in his second term as governor, met in March with top Republicans such as Sen. Steve Daines of Montana — the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair, according to Politico. The governor also put his family coal business on the market as he inches towards an election bid.
If Justice runs for the Senate seat, he will have to face Rep. Alex Mooney, who is backed by Club for Growth, an economically conservative political action committee, in the GOP primary. Both Republicans would vie for an endorsement from former President Donald Trump and the chance to take on Manchin, who has yet to announce a reelection bid.
The governor is significantly more popular than Mooney among likely GOP primary voters at 78% to 48%, respectively, according to a National Public Affairs poll. Justice leads the congressman by 31 points in a hypothetical head-to-head Republican primary matchup.
A February Tarrance Group poll suggested that Justice would win against Manchin in 2024 by 10 points and Mooney would lose by 15 points. (RELATED: ‘Big RINO’: GOP Rep Goes After His Own Governor As Senate Race Heats Up)
The Morning Consult poll surveyed 2,213 registered voters from Jan. 1 to March 31, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 points.
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