Two polls show Chafin, Davis leading W.Va. SC race

Chris Dickerson May 4, 2012, 10:39am



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - A poll conducted by Tish Chafin's West Virginia Supreme Court campaign shows her in the lead, while another statewide poll shows Robin Jean Davis in the lead.

According to a statewide poll conducted by Frederick Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, Chafin "has surged ahead and has taken the all-important momentum going into the last week of the campaign."

The poll, conducted April 20-22, shows the Charleston attorney in the lead with 39 percent, followed by current Justice Davis with 36 percent and Circuit Judge Jim Rowe with 20 percent. Circuit Judge J.D. Beane drew 13 percent, and Supreme Court law clerk Louis Palmer got 6 percent. New Martinsville attorney H. John "Buck" Rogers is not listed on the results.

Still, 51 percent of those polled by Chafin's campaign were undecided.

"There are several reasons for Chafin's lead," Yang said in a release from the campaign. "The strong publicity she has received from her impressive endorsements, including the West Virginia AFL-CIO, UMWA and the Charleston Gazette, as well as her Balanced Court Initiative."

The poll was conducted from a sample of likely West Virginia Democratic and Independent voters who have proven performance for participating primary elections. The poll surveyed 505 likely primary voters, representing a minute margin of error of 5 percent.

"We fully expect Tish Chafin to continue her momentum and emerge as one of the Democratic nominees on May 8th," Yang said.

The West Virginia Poll released this week by the Charleston Daily Mail showed similar results, but with Davis edging Chafin.

Davis had 31 percent in The West Virginia Poll, and Chafin had 27 percent. Rowe had 22 percent, Beane 10, Rogers 7 and Palmer 6. In that poll, 44 percent of voters said they were undecided.

"We can look at this to say this is a very close Supreme Court race," pollster Rex Repass told the Daily Mail. "It's fairly tight among those (top) three."

The West Virginia Poll was conducted April 25-28 by R.L. Repass & Partners Inc. for the Daily Mail April 25-28. That survey included 213 phone and online interviews with registered Democrat voters. The margin of error is 4.8 percentage points.

Supreme Court law clerk Allen Loughry and Circuit Judge John Yoder are the Republicans running for two spots on the bench in this spring's primary. The primary election is May 8, and the general election is Nov. 6.

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