As the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's annual event in White Sulphur Springs came to a close Friday, the organization released a poll showing Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) with a 16-pint lead over Republican businessman Bill Maloney in the special election for governor.
According to the poll, Tomblin leads Maloney 40-24, with 31 percent of voters undecided.
The remaining 5 percent of voters support third-party or independent candidates.
Of note in the poll:
-47 percent of those surveyed said the state's heading in the right direction; 36 percent disagreed. Tomblin and Maloney painted opposing pictures of the state's outlook during addresses to members of the chamber Thursday.
-Tomblin has a 48 percent approval rating in his role as governor; 17 percent disapproved and 35 percent were unsure.
-The chamber also asked those surveyed if they had "positive" or "negative" feelings toward several people and institutions in the state. Forty percent said they had positive feelings toward Tomblin, with 17 pecent expressing negative feelings and 38 percent neutral.
-By contrast, 17 percent said they had positive feelings toward Maloney, with 15 percent expressing negative feelings and 45 percent neutral.
The chamber conducted 300 interviews between August 11-22.