Republican Shelley Moore Capito leads her Democratic opponent Natalie Tennant by 17 points, according to a new poll of the West Virginia Senate race from Rasmussen Reports. An even 50 percent say they support Capito, the congresswoman and daughter of former governor Arch Moore, while just 33 percent say they support Tennant, the secretary of state. That's the widest gap Rasmussen has found in the race since its February poll that gave Capito a 14-point lead.
"Is the West Virginia Senate race turning into a rout?" asks Rasmussen.
Capito has led solidly from the beginning of her campaign to succeed retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller. A seven-term member of the House, Capito is benefitting from the Mountain State's steady turn toward the GOP in national elections. Her first election to Congress came in 2000, the first of four consecutive presidential elections where the Republican nominee won the state. If elected, Capito will become the first Republican senator from West Virginia since the Eisenhower administration.
Read more about Capito and her bid for Senate in a May article in THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Here's an excerpt:
And Capito has proven she can win. In 2012, she won Jackson County (home of Ravenswood and Ripley) by more than 30 points, outperforming Mitt Romney by 11 points and Democratic senator Joe Manchin by nearly 15 points. Across her district, she won nearly 70 percent of the vote.
That’s remarkable for this nominally red state. Conservative, rural, overwhelmingly white West Virginia has voted for the Republican nominee for president for four straight elections, but Democrats still thrive here. Party registration favors Democrats over Republicans by nearly two to one. The governor is a Democrat, and Democrats control both houses of the legislature. The state’s Democratic party is much more conservative than the national party, particularly on social and environmental issues. Manchin, the former governor, won his special election to replace the late Robert Byrd, a Democrat, in the Senate in 2010 with an ad that showed him shooting a bullet through the text of a cap and trade bill.