West Virginia voters heavily favor Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in the race for Jay Rockefeller's U.S. Senate seat, according to a new poll.
In a poll conducted last weekend by the Raleigh, N.C.,-based firm Public Policy Polling, 50 percent of poll respondents said they would vote for Capito if she were the Republican candidate next November.
That includes 30 percent of surveyed Democratic voters and 54 percent of independents.
Meanwhile, 36 percent of respondents said they would vote for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who launched her campaign last week.
Fourteen percent said they were unsure who would receive their vote.
Tennant, a Democrat, received much less crossover support.
Only 11 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of independents said they would vote for Tennant in a race against Capito.
Most respondents - 45 percent - said they have a "favorable" opinion of Capito. Thirty-six percent said they have an unfavorable opinion and 19 percent weren't sure.
Tennant fared a little worse, with 39 percent holding a favorable opinion of her and 32 percent having an unfavorable opinion. Thirty percent were undecided.
Chris Hansen, Capito campaign spokesman, refused to comment on the results, saying the campaign would comment only on polls it commissions.
State Republican Chairman Conrad Lucas said the results do not contain any surprises.
"We're well aware of Congresswoman Capito's strengths across all demographics," including Democrat voters, he said.
"Her performance over her service in Congress has earned her approval in all parts of the state, even outside of the district."
Larry Puccio, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said he remains optimistic even though Tennant is trailing Capito by 14 points.
He pointed out the poll was conducted just days after Tennant announced she would run for Senate while Capito has been campaigning since late last year.