Sep 22, 2011- The Most Unpopular Man in West Virginia

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

A couple new polls give us some insight into the status of the governor's race and who ranks among the most disliked public figures in West Virginia.

First, the newest news.

The Democratic Governors Association released a poll this evening giving Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D)  46-36 lead over Bill Maloney (R). An August poll conducted by the Mellman Group for the DGA gave Tomblin a 47-33 lead over Maloney.

The pollsters suirveye 500 likely voters from Sept. 16-19.

In a poll released earlier this month by Public Policy Polling, Tomblin led by six points, 46-40.

PPP also has released more data from that poll of 708 likely voters, conducted Sept. 1-4.

Of note:

-Sen. Jay Rockefeller's approval rating is 45 percent among voters, with 42 percent disapproving of how he's doing. Rockefeller (D) is enjoying less support than his junior colleague, Sen. Joe Manchin (D). His approval rating, released earlier this month, is at 59 percent. The pollsters point out Manchin gets more crossover support from Republicans and independents than does Rockefeller.

-West Virginians aren't hopping on the bandwagon to support gay marriage. The poll finds 19 percent of voters think gay marriage should be legal. However, 71 percent think it should be illegal. "When you expand the discussion to civil unions 54 percent of voters are still against any form of legal recognition for same sex couples," a news released accomplying the poll states.

-"There is actually someone people in West Virginia like even less than Barack Obama- former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.  Only 13 percent of voters in the state have a positive opinion of him to 44 percent with an unfavorable one, giving him a net review of -31.  That's just slightly worse than Obama's -30 approval rating at 32/62.  Democrats certainly dislike Blankenship the most, rating him 8/57, but Republicans (19/26) and independents (19/37) don't think much of him either," the pollsters say.

-They also aimed to find the most popular living ex-governor who's not in public office. Gaston Caperton (D) wins with 42 percent of voters approving to 34 percent disapproving. Hulett Smith (D) ranks at the bottom with 14 percent approving and 22 percent disapproving.

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