Barack Obama's best chance to win Missouri may have passed...unless the Republicans nominate Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich. After losing the state by the smallest of margins in 2008 Obama is now unpopular in the state, with 52% of voters disapproving of him to only 43% who approve. He trails Mike Huckabee by 7 points (49-42) and Mitt Romney by 6 points (47-41) in hypothetical match ups. But Palin and Gingrich are even more unpopular in the state than he is and as a result he leads Palin by a 46-43 margin and trails Gingrich only 45-44.
Huckabee is the only one of the Republicans Missouri voters are particularly fond of. 51% have a favorable opinion of him to only 29% with a negative one. He's pretty universally well liked with Republicans, a quarter of Democrats view him positively, and with independents he's at a 46/27 spread. All the rest of the Republicans have negative favorability numbers, with them all following the same formula: Democratic voters dislike them more strongly than GOP ones like them and they all get negative reviews from independents. Romney's favorability is a -12 spread (30/42), Palin's is -14 (39/53), and Gingrich's is -15 (33/48).
Obama gets 86-88% of the Democratic vote in all four match ups. He definitely doesn't have a base problem. The big differences are with independents and Republicans. With independents Romney and Huckabee both lead Obama by 12 points but Gingrich has just a 2 point edge and Palin actually trails by 5. There's also varying willingness among Republican voters to support their party's possible nominees- 89% commit to voting for Huckabee but that goes down to 83% for Romney and Gingrich, and only 76% for Palin. Huckabee does great with the Republicans and the independents, Romney does great with the independents and ok with the Republicans, Gingrich does ok with the Republicans but not with the independents, and Palin doesn't really do well with either.
The numbers in Missouri fit what we've been seeing in most of our 2012 polls: it just depends on who the Republicans nominate. If it's Palin or Gingrich Obama does as well or even a little bit better than he did in 2008. If it's Romney or Huckabee he does about 5 or 6 points worse, which nationally equates to a toss up. His standing has slipped in Missouri and especially after the state's lopsided Senate election this year he probably shouldn't be able to win there in 2012- but the Republican might just help him out.
Full results here