Fifty-nine percent of likely voters approved of his job performance in a survey conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. Twenty-six percent disapproved.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) is also popular, the poll found, with 51 percent of likely voters saying they had a favorable opinion of her. But in a theoretical Senate matchup between Manchin and Capito, Manchin took 52 percent to Capito’s 36 percent.
Freshman Rep. David McKinley (R) remains relatively unknown in the state, with 52 percent of those surveyed saying they weren’t sure what they thought of him.
Neither Capito nor McKinley is expected to challenge Manchin next year. Republicans, led by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), are in the process of trying to recruit a top-tier challenger to run in West Virginia.
Manchin, an extremely popular former governor, beat Republican John Raese by 10 points in the 2010 special election to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D) term.
The automated telephone poll of 708 likely voters was conducted Sept. 1 to Sunday and had a margin of error of 3.7 points.