Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rep. Capito ahead in early polls in West Virginia to replace Rockefeller

By Richard K. Barry

Roll Call is reporting that Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito looks to be in a good position to replace retiring West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller. This is according to a poll conducted by GOP polling firm Harper Polling:

The poll tested both parties' primary fields and theoretical general-election matchups. What is clear from this early read is that Capito is well-known and, at least for now, is well-liked.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Nick J. Rahall II led the field of potential candidates and appears to be the strongest general-election nominee against Capito. In a general-election test, 50 percent of respondents said they would support Capito, while 32 percent said they backed Rahall. Eighteen percent were undecided.

Obviously this is early going. Interestingly, they point out that because West Virginia is such a cheap state in which to advertise, name identification won't be a problem for anyone by election day. By the same token, negative ads and the characterization and mischaracterization of everything everyone says will be easily put before the voters. 

One thing that seems relatively certain is that Capito will be the GOP nominee, as she polls at 71 percent against her closest potential challenger, GOP Rep. David B. McKinley, who gets 15 percent support. 

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