Republican gains ground in tight West Virginia House race: poll

Republican gains ground in tight West Virginia House race: poll
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Republican Carol Miller has overtaken Richard Ojeda (D) in the race for West Virginia's 3rd District House seat, according to a poll released Tuesday.

A Monmouth University poll shows Miller with the support of 48 percent of likely midterm voters in the state, compared to 45 percent who say they support Ojeda. The poll's results come after previous surveys of the district in deep-red West Virginia showed Ojeda with as much as a double-digit lead.

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In a Monmouth poll in June, Ojeda led Miller by 9 points, according to Monmouth. Monmouth said in a press release with the poll on Tuesday that Ojeda's vote share had remained about the same while Miller had made gains among undecided voters.

“Ojeda’s share of the vote hasn’t really moved since the summer while Miller’s standing has risen,” said Patrick Murray, Monmouth's polling director. “These results are a sign of Republican voters returning to the fold in a district that leans Republican, especially in its support of the president.” 

The close race comes in a district where President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE has 63 percent support according to Monmouth. Trump won the district by nearly 50 points in the 2016 election. But, Ojeda has still been able to remain in the race.

“The problem for Ojeda is that there just aren’t that many Trump opponents in this district to give him the kind of edge that he would have if this was a competitive suburban district elsewhere in the country," Murray added.

Twenty-seven percent of the voters rated health care as the most important issue facing the district, while concerns over abortion (16 percent) and job creation (15 percent) were the second- and third-highest-ranked issues, respectively.

Monmouth's poll surveyed 350 likely voters in West Virginia's 3rd District between October 10 to 14. It carries a margin of error of plus or minus 7.4 percentage points for the candidates' vote share, and plus or minus 5.2 percentage point margin of error for other questions.