By Steven Allen Adams, Parkersburg News and Sentinel
CHARLESTON — Pressure continues to mount on Gov. Jim Justice to enter the Republican race for U.S. Senate in 2024, with new polling showing a solid lead over U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney in a GOP primary match-up.
According to a poll released Monday by National Public Affairs, Justice would defeat Mooney, R-W.Va., in a theoretical two-way race 55% to 24% with 21% undecided. The poll took place between March 14 and 17 with 360 likely Republican primary voters, including both Republicans and independents.
In a theoretical race including Justice, Mooney, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and McDowell County native and former coal miner Chris Rose, Justice led with 42%, followed by Morrisey with 21%, Mooney with 10%, Rose with 2%, and 24% undecided.
“On the ballot test, Governor Justice has a significant lead — more than 20 points against a field of potential or declared challengers,” wrote NPA co-founder Justin Clark and Macy Stepien, vice president for polling and data. “Notably, he dominates in multiple scenarios – one-on-one and among a larger field.”
“These poll numbers reflect what we have seen time and time again. Governor Jim Justice is universally known, has the highest approval of any elected official in the state, and would be the strongest Republican candidate for U.S. Senate,” said a source close to Justice who declined to be identified.
Clark and Stepien wrote that Morrisey was included in the poll prior to announcing what many believe will be a run for governor in Harpers Ferry today, followed by a three-day state tour. A poll from a Morrisey-aligned political action committee by National Research Inc. in February showed Morrisey leading in a six-way race by 28% with 29% of respondents undecided. …