A new Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey of West Virginia Republican primary voters finds 33% support Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for the nomination for Governor, while 16% support businessman Chris Miller, 14% support former state representative Moore Capito, and 6% support Secretary of State Mac Warner. Twenty-nine percent are undecided. 

In the U.S. Senate primary, 54% support current Governor Jim Justice, while 17% support Rep. Alex Mooney. No other candidate surpasses three percent, and 22% are undecided. 

“Governor Justice’s support in the senate primary is most locked in among voters over 70, 61% of whom support him,” Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling, said. “Mooney’s support is highest among voters with a postgraduate degree, at 26%, but he still trails Justice among this group by 16 percentage points.”

The economy is the most important issue for 58% of Republican primary voters. Ten percent find education to be the top issue, 8% healthcare, 5% immigration, 5% coal/energy, and 4% threats to democracy. 

Forty-six percent of respondents think things in West Virginia are headed in the right direction, while 38% think things are on the wrong track. 

A strong majority of primary voters (91%) describe the number of migrants seeking sanctuary in the United States as a crisis, while 8% say it is a problem but not a crisis. Just one percent say it’s not a problem at all.

Republican primary voters were asked if they would rate the quality of education provided in their local public schools as excellent, good, fair, or poor. 

  • Excellent: 7%
  • Good: 30%
  • Fair: 34%
  • Poor: 30%

Postgraduates were the most likely to describe the quality of education they received as excellent or good at 43%, followed by those whose highest level of education is high school at 41%.

  • Primary voters who attended vocational/technical school were least satisfied with their education with 79% describing it as poor or fair.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of voters with an associate’s degree or some college experience describe their education as poor or fair. 

Kimball notes, “the data highlights a concerning trend where even those who have pursued higher education beyond high school are not entirely satisfied with the education they received”.

A majority of Republican primary voters (78%) support eliminating the income tax in West Virginia.


The Emerson College Polling/The Hill West Virginia survey was conducted March 19-21, 2024. The sample of GOP Primary Voters voters, n=735, has a margin of error (MOE), of +/- 3.6 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, education, age, and region based on 2024 registration modeling. Turnout modeling is based on U.S. Census parameters, and voter registration data (WV S.O.S.).

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

Data was collected by contacting cell phones via MMS-to-web and landlines via  Interactive Voice Response (IVR). 

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling and sponsored by Nexstar Media. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found under “Full Results.”