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Election 2008: West Virginia Presidential Election
McCain Up by Nine in West Virginia

The presidential race in West Virginia continues to hold steady as John McCain leads Barack Obama 52% to 43%, according the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey.

The latest poll is little changed from September, when McCain led his opponent 50% to 42%. The Republican also had an eight-point lead in the state back in June.

McCain holds a dominant lead among unaffiliated voters in West Virginia, 57% to 36%. He also leads 55% to 42% among men and 49% to 43% among women.

Rasmussen Markets data shows that Republicans are given a % chance of winning West Virginia’s five Electoral College votes this fall.

McCain is viewed favorably by 60% of West Virginia voters and unfavorably by 38%. Obama’s numbers are 47% favorable, 51% unfavorable.

On the top issue of the economy, most West Virginia voters (58%) disagree with the economic rescue plan passed by Congress recently, though 29% say the plan will most likely help the economy. Another 24% say the plan will hurt the situation, while 29% say it will have no impact.

To help spur economic growth, 58% of voters in West Virginia say taxes should be lowered, while 24% say they should stay the same and 9% say the government should raise them. While 52% think raising taxes on the wealthier individuals would benefit the economy, 45% say raising the capital gains tax would be bad for the current economic situation.

Candidates on both sides have been criticized for negative campaigning this season, but 48% of voters in West Virginia think this year’s election is no different than past elections. Thirty-eight percent (38%) think this year’s campaign season is more negative than past elections.

While 34% of voters think Obama’s campaign has been generally positive, 42% say McCain’s has been generally negative.

Half of voters (51%) in West Virginia say it is possible to win an election without criticism of the opponent, while 34% say this is not possible.

President Bush earns good or excellent job approval ratings from just 29% of voters, while 50% say he is doing a poor job.

President Bush carried the state by 13 percentage points in 2004. Four years earlier, West Virginia abandoned its long history of voting for Democrats when Bush beat Al Gore by six points. West Virginia is listed as “Safely Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator.

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This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on October 20, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.

West Virginia Trends: McCain vs. Obama











Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in West Virginia




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Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary





Toss-Ups & Leaners


Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.