A Democratic group released the results of a telephone poll Monday that found Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., was leading his Republican challenger, state Sen. Evan Jenkins, R-Cabell, by a margin of 52 percent to 40 percent.
The poll, conducted for the House Majority PAC by Washington, D.C.-based Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, polled 400 likely voters in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District on April 15 and 16.
The poll found President Obama’s approval rating in the 3rd District was only about 35 percent.
“The more West Virginians learn about Evan Jenkins, his record and the agenda of those attacking Congressman Rahall, the less they support him,” said Matt Thornton, communications director for the House Majority PAC. Those polls are conducted partly to help the House Majority PAC to determine where to spend its money.
Andrew Sere, a campaign strategist for Jenkins, asked, “Does it make sense to you that the House Majority PAC would announce ad reservations in 24 [Congressional] districts, conspicuously leaving Rahall off the list while leaking that he ‘trails significantly,’ after having just taken a poll showing him up 12 points? Ridiculous on its face.”
Thornton said, “I have no idea what he [Sere] means about us leaking the ‘trails significantly’ line. That certainly didn’t come from us.”
The House Majority PAC, Thornton said, “is currently, and will continue to be, on the air countering the Koch brothers-funded attacks on Rep. Rahall. Try as they might, the Jenkins campaign cannot distract from the fact that our ads have been very effective explaining his just how terrible Jenkins’s record has been for West Virginians.”
Charles and Dvid Koch have been donating millions of dollars primarily to defeat Democratic candidates like Rahall. They have been funding a variety of political organizations that buy political ads, including Americans for Prosperity, a group supporting Jenkins and attacking Rahall. Groups like Americans For Prosperity are not allowed, under federal law, to have any direct contact with candidates they support.
The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, the political division of Peter D. Hart Research Associates, conducts polls for Democratic candidates around the country. For the past four election cycles, the group also conducted polls for EMILY’s List, a group following voters’ opinions on issues impacting women.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5164.