West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) is leading incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) by 22 points in a hypothetical U.S. Senate matchup in 2024, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Justice leads Manchin 54 percent to 32 percent, with 13 percent of respondents saying they are undecided, according to an East Carolina University Center for Survey Research poll of registered voters in West Virginia.
The same survey found that Justice has a job-approval rating of 57 percent and a 29-percent disapproval rating. Manchin’s job-approval rating sits at 33 percent, with a 59-percent disapproval rating.
Justice currently serves as West Virginia’s governor and recently announced a run for Manchin’s U.S. Senate seat in 2024. Conservative Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) also announced his candidacy for Manchin’s U.S. Senate seat.
Manchin, a Democrat, has not announced whether he would run for reelection in 2024 and has entertained speculation that he could instead make a bid for the White House.
In a hypothetical 2024 GOP primary matchup, Justice holds a decisive lead against Mooney, the candidate more closely aligned with former President Trump. Justice leads by 41 percentage points, with 53 percent to Mooney’s 12 percent.
A hypothetical general election matchup between Manchin and Mooney is about deadlocked; Mooney polls at 41 percent to Manchin’s 40 percent, and 18 percent are undecided.
The survey also asked whether Sen. Manchin should remain a Democrat or switch parties. Respondents were split, with 33 percent saying he should stay a Democrat and 33 percent saying he should join the Republican party. Likewise, 14 percent said Manchin should become an independent, and 21 percent said they were not sure.
West Virginia respondents overwhelmingly said they would support Trump over any other candidate in a hypothetical 2024 Republican presidential primary. Among West Virginia’s voters, Trump polls at 54 percent, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 9 percent. Other candidates and potential candidates poll below 6 percent.
The poll was conducted from May 22-23 among 957 registered voters in West Virginia. Its credibility interval (similar to a margin of error) is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
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