West Virginians: U.S. going in wrong direction

More than half of West Virginians think the United States is going the wrong way, according to the latest MetroNews West Virginia poll.

While many residents in West Virginia approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance, 58 percent of poll respondents believe the country is “off on the wrong track” while 33 percent say the country is “generally headed in the right direction,” an increase from 2018 when 44 percent of West Virginia voters said the country was “off the wrong track.”

“The COVID-19 outbreak and the uncertainty of the upcoming national general election has many West Virginians concerned about the direction of the nation,” Rex Repass, president of Research America Inc., which conducted the survey, said. “However, President Trump’s policies appear to resonate with many likely voters throughout the state.”

Trump’s job approval ratings decreased 5 percentage points in West Virginia, from 61 percent to 56 percent from December 2019 to October 2020. His disapproval rating remains unchanged at 41 percent.

Nationally, Trump’s job approval ratings remain unchanged, 46 percent approve of his job performance while 52 disapprove, according to a Gallup poll conducted in September.

Gov. Jim Justice enjoys his highest approval rating with more than half of West Virginia voters approving of his leadership, from 42 percent to 54 percent from December 2019 to October 2020. Justice benefits from high-name recognition among likely Republican voters, according to Repass.

“West Virginia likely voters have confidence in Gov. Justice and many believe he is doing a good job leading the state in most aspects,” Repass said. “His ability to draw support from moderates and conservatives also is driving up his positives.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s job approval ratings also decreased from 49 percent in 2019 to 44 percent in 2020. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s job approval rating is 54 percent, unchanged from a year ago.

Accuracy of the poll, conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 6 after the first presidential debate, is plus or minus 4.6 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. The poll sampled 450 registered voters likely to vote on Nov. 3.

Democrats, Republicans, Libertarian, Mountain Party and unaffiliated or independent voters were surveyed. Data collection was completed online and by telephone.


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