Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinCongress needs to gird the country for climate crisis Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Poll from liberal group shows more voters in key states back .5T bill 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.
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 TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump 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 KavanaughGraham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Senators denounce protest staged outside home of Justice Kavanaugh MORE to the Supreme Court despite sexual misconduct allegations.