The Presidential race in Missouri could go three different ways next year based on our current polling, depending on who the Republican nominee is.
If it's Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich the state will be a tossup much as it was in 2008. Barack Obama ties Gingrich in the state at 44% and trails Mitt Romney by just a single point at 44-43.
If it's Mike Huckabee, Republicans should win the state by a much more comfortable margin than John McCain's narrow victory the last time around. He leads Obama 49-43.
And if it's Sarah Palin, Democrats should finally be able to return this state to their column. Obama leads her 48-43.
One thing's for sure: Missouri is one of the states where Obama's personal standing has seen the greatest decline since 2008. After basically fighting to a draw there his approval is now just 43% with 52% of voters disapproving of him. His unpopularity there goes a long way toward explaining Roy Blunt's unexpectedly decisive victory over Robin Carnahan, as well as Ike Skelton's somewhat shocking loss for reelection. That 43/52 spread for Obama may be the biggest threat to Claire McCaskill's prospects for a second term, maybe more even than her own numbers.
The reason Obama's still competitive in Missouri despite his own unpopularity is the weakness of the Republican candidate field against him. Only Huckabee has net positive favorability numbers, with 45% rating him favorably to 35% with an unfavorable opinion. Voters are quite negative toward Gingrich (31/50) and even Romney (32/44), allowing Obama to stay competitive with them despite his own poor numbers. And of course Palin's figures are the worst with 56% of voters expressing a negative opinion of her to only 37% with a positive one.
Obama's approval numbers in Missouri are such that if Republicans run a competent candidate against him he should lose by a greater margin than in 2008. Whether they will do so though remains to be seen and if they put forth an incompetent enough candidate Obama could even win the state in spite of his unpopularity.
Full results here