CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A certain longtime politician often insisted West Virginians believe in four things: God Almighty, Sears Roebuck, Carter's Little Liver Pills and Robert C. Byrd.
Add to that list Jerry West, "Take Me Home, Country Roads," pepperoni rolls and Joe Manchin.
Results of the most recent West Virginia Poll show state residents still idolize the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar, love John Denver's 1971 worldwide hit, salivate over pepperoni rolls and believe Manchin was the best governor in recent memory.
The West Virginia Poll is a non-partisan study conducted for the Daily Mail by R.L. Repass and Partners. This most recent edition was conducted from June 7-13, sampling 401 voting-age West Virginia residents. It has a 4.9 percent margin of error.
Poll respondents were asked several questions about West Virginia culture in honor of the state's 150th birthday.
Twenty-four percent of residents surveyed said Sen. Joe Manchin was the best state governor of their lifetime, although 20 percent of respondents picked former Gov. Jay Rockefeller, now a U.S. senator who will retire when his term ends next year.
Fifteen percent said former Republican Gov. Arch Moore was the best of their lifetime.
When it came to athletes, the top pick was head and shoulders above the rest, in more ways than one.
Respondents picked Jerry West, also known as Mr. Clutch, as the top West Virginia athlete of the last 50 years, with 41 percent of those surveyed choosing him.
West stands 6 feet 2 inches tall.
Next on the list was Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton, who was selected by 21 percent of respondents and is only 4 feet 8 inches tall.
Ten percent picked Marshall University standout and National Football League roustabout Randy Moss.
An overwhelming majority of poll respondents apparently think state officials have it all wrong in designating officials state songs.
The survey showed 66 percent of respondents would select "Take Me Home, Country Roads."
West Virginia's existing state songs received only a fraction of that support: 20 percent of respondents picked "The West Virginia Hills," 10 percent chose "West Virginia My Home Sweet Home" and just 3 percent named "This is My West Virginia."
While Denver's song about our "Mountain Mama" certainly is popular - it's been recorded by everyone from Ray Charles to Hawaiian ukulele player Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and Dutch electronic pop group the Hermes House Band - it's also a bit inaccurate.
The Shenandoah River runs through only a small section of the Eastern Panhandle, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are mostly in Virginia.
But that doesn't matter. Once West Virginians have adopted something as our own - from coonskin caps to former Alderson inmate Martha Stewart - we take full ownership.