A new Emerson College Polling survey of West Virginia residents finds Republican Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Jim Justice with 41% of voters’ support in a hypothetical 2024 matchup with incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who holds 28%. Fifteen percent indicate they support someone else, and 16% are undecided. In a matchup between Senator Manchin and Representative Alex Mooney, Manchin’s support increases to 37%, while Mooney holds 31%; 13% would vote for someone else and 18% are undecided.

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, explains the difference in general election support, “independents are breaking for Justice, 43% to 18%; however, in the matchup with Mooney, independents are split 32% to 32%.”

Governor Justice holds a 40% approval among West Virginia voters, and a 26% job disapproval. Thirty-four percent are neutral toward the governor. President Biden holds a 19% job approval in West Virginia, while 71% disapprove of the job Biden is doing in office. Ten percent are neutral. 

Half (50%) of Republican voters approve of the job Justice is doing, while the governor holds a 34% approval rating among Democrats, and 35% approval rating among independent voters.

In a potential 2024 presidential matchup between former president Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, Trump leads 59% to 23%, while 13% plan to vote for someone else and 5% are undecided.

A majority of Trump voters do not plan to change their mind when it comes to who to vote for president in 2024: 58% say they cannot think of anything Trump could do or say that would make them choose not to support him for president next year, while 50% of Biden voters say the same. Fourteen percent of Trump voters could think of something that could change their mind, and 18% of Biden voters can as well.

Just over half of West Virginia voters (51%) think President Biden stole the 2020 election, while 35% think Biden won fair and square. A majority of voters (65%) think Trump won fairly in 2016, while 19% think he stole the election. 


The Emerson College Polling West Virginia poll was conducted October 1-4, 2023. The sample consisted of 539 West Virginia voters with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, party, race, and education based on the general population using a sample of n=589 participants and allowing the natural fallout to create the sample of n=539 voters. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and West Virginia voter registration and voter turnout data by regions (WV SOS). Data was collected by contacting a list of landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer. 

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 know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.