West Virginia governor poll: Manchin leads GOP incumbent Justice by 10 points

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinLawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Overnight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Senate Democrats pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit MORE leads Gov. Jim Justice (R) by 10 points in a hypothetical gubernatorial match-up in the deep-red state, according to a poll released Friday. 

The MetroNews Dominion Post West Virginia survey found that 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for Manchin compared to 39 percent who said they would vote for Justice, according to the local newspaper, with 12 percent unsure.

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The paper reported that Manchin would announce after Labor Day whether he would run for governor, a position he previously held from 2005 to 2010. If he departs the Senate, it could determine which party controls the chamber after the 2020 election.

The poll of 501 registered voters was conducted by Research America Inc. Aug. 14-22. It has an overall confidence interval of 4.4 percentage points with 95 percent confidence level.

"If Senator Manchin were to enter the governor’s race and be the Democratic nominee, there’s no question he has historically strong support in the state. And generally his positions on issues resonate with West Virginia voters,” Research America President Rex Repass told MetroNews. 

Manchin has expressed frustration with the lack of bipartisanship in Congress and noted that supporters have indicated he should run for governor. 

“I have people back home that want me to come back and run for governor. We’re looking at all the different plays. I want to make sure whatever time I have left in public service is productive,” he told The Hill earlier this year. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE received about 68 percent of the vote in West Virginia in the 2016 election.

However, Manchin, a moderate Democrat who has sided with Republicans on certain issues, won reelection to the Senate last year. Notably, he was the only Democrat to vote in favor of confirming Trump nominee Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSusan Collins in statistical tie with Democratic challenger: poll A disgraced Senate and president have no business confirming judges Manchin not ruling out endorsing Trump reelection MORE to the Supreme Court despite sexual misconduct allegations.