West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey would enter the GOP gubernatorial primary in his state with a significant double-digit lead should he decide to run, a new poll obtained exclusively by Breitbart News shows.
The poll, commissioned by Black Bear PAC and conducted by pollster National Research Inc., shows Morrisey leading a crowded field by 13 percent. Black Bear PAC ended 2022 with about $2 million on hand and would be expected to spend significantly backing Morrisey — a source familiar with the group said it expects to raise north of $5 million to $6 million this year — if he runs for governor of West Virginia.
Morrisey, at 28 percent, leads West Virginia state delegate Moore Capito — the son of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) — by 13 points. Capito is down at 15 percent, and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner is at 11 percent. Every other named candidate is down in single digits, and 29 percent were undecided.
The poll of 600 likely West Virginia GOP primary voters was conducted from February 23 to February 28 and has a margin of error of four percent.
“If Attorney General Patrick Morrisey were to announce his candidacy for Governor of West Virginia, he would become the instant frontrunner in the Republican Primary,” National Research’s Adam Geller and Samantha Barthel wrote in the polling memo obtained by Breitbart News. “This is based on several factors, including his lead in a hypothetical multi-candidate ballot, his superior name and image ratings compared to the rest of the field, his high job approval, and his extraordinary informed ballot numbers, after voters hear of his record as Attorney General.”
Morrisey’s approval rating is very high among respondents, too, with 67 percent approving of his job performance and only 18 percent disapproving while 15 percent were not sure.
Morrisey is reportedly considering a bid for governor in 2024 in West Virginia should current Gov. Jim Justice run for U.S. Senate as many expect him to do. Justice, a Republican with close ties to former President Donald Trump, would easily become the frontrunner in a Senate race that would also possibly feature Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV). The seat they would be running for is currently held by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who had not yet said if he intends to run for reelection. Manchin holding this seat as a Democrat, in a deep red state like West Virginia, would likely be very difficult for him to do though he has pulled it off in the past.
This survey also shows that Trump’s approval rating is extremely high among West Virginia likely GOP primary voters, with 79 percent of respondents having a favorable image of the former president and just 18 percent viewing Trump unfavorably.
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