The first independent poll regarding a wide-field of candidates for governor of West Virginia has been released, the election is coming on May 14.

The poll says Earl Ray Tomblin and Betty Ireland hold double-digit leads over their opponents, according to the Public Policy Polling.

Numerous candidates are questioning the poll since it was conducted April 21-24 using automated telephone surveying.

The poll of 590 likely Democratic voters has Tomblin leading with 32 percent, with Treasurer John Perdue, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, and House Speaker Rick Thompson in a virtual dead-heat for second, at 17, 16 and 15 percent each.

Acting Senate President Jeff Kessler at 5 percent, and South Charleston landlord Arne Moltis at 1 percent.

Fourteen percent of the respondents said they were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Tomblin's job approval rating jumped from 42 percent to 58 percent.

Of 274 likely Republican voters, 31 percent favored Ireland, followed by Morgantown businessman Bill Maloney at 17 percent, state Sen. Clark Barnes and Delegate Mitch Carmichael at 8 percent each, Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia at 4 percent, and the three other candidates at 2 percent or less.

The same poll showed Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump topping the list of possible GOP candidates for president in 2012, each drawing 24 percent support. It showed Sarah Palin at 13 percent and Mitt Romney at 11 percent.

Fifty-three percent of the Republicans said they don't believe President Obama was born in the U.S.

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