Could John Ashcroft make a return to public office in the future, perhaps as a candidate for the Senate or Governor in 2012? It seems like a far fetched possibility but Missouri voters may be somewhat open to it. Ashcroft came out on top of our newest poll asking folks in the state who their favorite Governor of the last 25 years is.
35% of respondents picked Ashcroft, allowing him to narrowly edge out Mel Carnahan with 32%. Ashcroft finished first among Republican voters with 58%, while Carnahan likewise finished first with Democrats with 58%. Among independents Ashcroft edged Carnahan 40-30.
Family names may loom large in next year's Senate race with the daughter of a former Governor running on the Democratic side against the father of a former Governor on the Republican side. If legacies become an important factor in the contest it appears that will be to Robin Carnahan's advantage, as Matt Blunt is the state's least popular Governor of the last 25 years, the choice of 29% of respondents. Finishing second on that front is Bob Holden and third is Ashcroft.
Democrats pick Blunt as their least favorite by a 45-35 margin over Ashcroft and independent choose him by a 28-25 spread of Holden. Republicans split their 'least favorite' choices evenly between Carnahan and Holden.
Matt Blunt clearly was not a popular Governor, and that could hurt his father next year. Carnahan's father on the other hand seems to be generally well remembered. It will be interesting to see how much those things matter next year in a race that's likely to be closely contested.
Jay Nixon did not receive much support for either most popular or least popular, an indication he hasn't made a strong impression yet on voters in the state one way or the other.
Full results here