by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON — Despite an onslaught of negative advertising by those supporting the candidacy of Republican State Senate President Bill Cole for governor, Democrat businessman Jim Justice continues to hold a commanding ten-point lead in recent polling.
In a telephone survey of likely 2016 General Election voters by Global Strategy Group, Justice leads Cole, 47% to 37% in the race for Governor. Just 15% of voters are undecided. These results are based on a live telephone survey of 419 likely General Election voters conducted from August 1-3.
“Senator Cole’s dishonest ads aren’t fooling West Virginians about Jim Justice,” said Grant Herring, a spokesman for the Justice campaign. “Jim Justice is leading in every poll because the people of West Virginia know he is the most prepared to grow jobs as governor. Bill Cole is a self-serving politician out to help himself and the voters aren’t buying it.”
To date, the Republican Governors Association has spent $550,000 on TV ads attacking Justice, and Cole has spent $350,000 on his latest negative ad blitz. Plus, the RGA spent another $550,000 this spring supporting Cole in his unopposed primary.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8%. Justice officials say the poll takes into consideration the geographic and demographic divisions of the expected electorate based on past voter turnout statistics.