The latest edition of the MetroNews WV Poll is good news for Democrats, I think.
The Democratic primary is going to be competitive and robust. Greenbrier owner, billionaire Jim Justice, remains the top choice of those polled at 32%, but his numbers are dramatically down from where they were in a previous poll done a few months ago. Newcomer Booth Goodwin and State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler are in a statistical tie at around 25%. It means Dems are looking at a good field of candidates with different perspectives and are paying attention.,
Graphic from wvmetronews.com
I spoke with Goodwin Friday on the Watchdog Morning Show and he's pleased with a good showing after only a few weeks actually being in the race and with his campaign efforts really just getting started. (Jeff Kessler with me next week to give his thoughts on the poll.) Jim Justice says he's the only Dem who can win.
But I think even better news is that in head to head races with the likely GOP nominee, Bill Cole, Justice would win and the other 2 would be very competitive.
Forty-nine percent of likely voters support Justice, while 39 percent back Cole and 12 percent are undecided.
A hypothetical matchup between Cole and Goodwin is a statistical dead heat with Cole at 44 percent, Goodwin at 43 percent and 14 percent not sure. Cole has a slightly larger lead over Kessler at 45 percent to 40 percent and 15 percent undecided, but that’s still within the margin of error. (wvmetronews.com)
After last years' election where "red" ran rampant, there's been a lot of talk that WV is now red--a GOP state. But I think some of these numbers show that its not as clear as we hear.
The WV GOP last year was masterful in its use of irrational fear--ginning up anti-Obama hysteria and perpetuating the War on Coal myth. But many in the Mountain State are seeing the results of their vote in the far right agenda of the GOP led legislature. An attack on working men and women (whom some in the GOP now admit out loud think think make too much money), union-busting Right to Work laws, anti-diversity efforts like the RFRA all are showing the GOP leadership for what it really is: a tool of the largest businesses and out-of-state institutions who would like to turn us into one of their colonies.
As with any poll, there are a lot of cautions here: it's early, campaigns haven't done much media buying, there's a big "undecided" number in the results. Rex Repass who conducted the poll quoted as reminding that it's just "a snapshot in time...you really can't determine a trend or predict an outcome" from the limited sample.
But I see voters who were led down a path by masterful marketing who now are seeing the results of their vote and are taking a long, hard look at where we are and where we are going.
It's going to an interesting year in Wild and Wonderful.