WV Senate Watch: Joe Manchin Internal Poll Claims Lead over Morrisey

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during a Senate Energy Subcommittee hearing discussing cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electrical grid and technology advancements to maximize such threats on Capitol Hill on March 28, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Internal polling released by West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin Wednesday says the incumbent lawmaker is leading Republican rival state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, in what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the 2018 midterm election.

“Today, the Manchin campaign released a polling memo that shows U.S. Senator Joe Manchin leading Attorney General Patrick Morrisey by 8 points, 50% to 42%. Manchin is viewed favorably by 51% of West Virginia voters, while Morrisey is viewed favorably by just 36% of voters, ” reads the polling memo released on Sen. Manchin’s campaign website.

The poll, while factoring in a 4% margin of error, says Manchin holds a seven percent lead over Morrisey in a three-way battle with Libertarian candidate Rusty Hollen.

The numbers also say Morrisey holds a 36 percent approval rating among West Virginians, while the incumbent Democrat sits at 51 percent.

Don Blankenship, who came in a distant third place in the state’s Republican Senate primary, was not included in the polling.

The former coal baron is vowing to switch his party affiliation to continue his Senate bid as a third-party candidate.

Polling released by WPAi show a much tighter race is playing out in coal country, with Morrissey holding a 2 percent lead over Manchin. President Donald J. Trump recently told Republican lawmakers that he’s optimistic about the party’s chances of winning the seat.

“According to the information from yesterday, there was a 17-point drop in the popularity of the incumbent there,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) noted to NBC News last week.