New poll puts Tomblin v. Capito at a close margin - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

New poll puts Tomblin vs. Capito at a close margin

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He hasn't expressed any interest in the seat, but the latest poll from Orion Strategies shows Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin could put up a fight in a potential race for U.S. Senate.

Orion, a public relations, advertising and political consulting firm with offices in Charleston and Buckhannon, conducted the survey March 13-15 by live telephone interviews with 305 historic, likely voters. The poll has a 95 percent confidence rate, according to a news release from Orion.

In a hypothetical U.S. Senate race between Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Tomblin, a Democrat, 45 percent of those polled said they would vote for Capito, and 37 percent would vote for Tomblin, with 18 percent of those polled undecided.

Capito, a seven-term congresswoman, announced in mid-November she would run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who later announced he would not run for re-election.

"This survey was taken during the most controversial legislation in years in West Virginia, and it still shows the governor in a very strong position," Randy Coleman of Orion Strategies said in a news release. "But you have to remember, this is a hypothetical matchup only 20 months before an election."

Orion also announced findings on other current topics in the Mountain State.

The MTV television series set in West Virginia, "Buckwild," was familiar to 80 percent of respondents. Of that percentage, 43 percent had watched the show, but only 13 percent of the group thought the show accurately portrayed West Virginians.

The annual football game between West Virginia University and Marshall University has support for a continued rivalry from 72 percent of those polled.

And when it comes to police officers placed in schools to provide security, 55 percent of respondents said officers should be in schools, and 32 percent disagreed but 13 percent were undecided.