Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Missouri close...except with Huck or Palin

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


Anonymous said...

Care to rationalize how you have Obama doing better against Palin in South Dakota and North Carolina than you have her doing against Obama in Missouri?

I suppose you can argue there are special circumstances in Arizona but this poll doesn't match up with your polls in South Dakota or North Carolina.

Dustin Ingalls said...

It's pretty simple: she's not as popular with GOP voters in SD as MO. She gets only 2/3 of their support in SD, but 82% in MO. Obama actually takes 18% of Republicans against Palin in SD, but only 8% in MO. And 15% of Republicans are undecided in SD, versus only 10% in MO. On top of that, while there are fewer independents in SD than in MO, Obama wins them 57-31, versus only 43-40 in MO. Palin is also about equally disliked in the two states, but Obama is actually a little more popular in SD than MO, believe it or not. SD used to have two Democratic Senators (still has one, just like MO), and it was actually contested if just a bit by Obama's campaign in 2008. He lost there by only less than 9 points. MO was obviously a lot closer, but he's regressed there more now than he has in SD.

Bob said...

Looks like Missouri is swinging to the right. I'd be hard pressed to find Obama winning this state in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Who won the GOP race in Missouri? Was Huckabee able to hold on to his lead there - or did someone else take it away from him?

Anonymous said...

1st Anonymous:

Basically, Missouri is just a far more polarized state than SD or NC or etc.

States such as SD/ND/MT/NH/etc. have a lot of relatively independent voters that might lean/identify one party, but are perfectly willing to vote for the other. That's why the Dakotas had two Democratic senators each for so long while voting Republican by hefty margins. That also means that the margins in those states can change more.

Missouri is a pretty polarized state where the Democrats are very Democrat and the Republicans are very Republican. Simply put, the base die-hard Republican support level in Missouri is higher than the die-hard Republican support level in SD/NC/etc.

Anonymous said...

Governor Huckabee is obviously the candidate of choice for the Republicans and Independents. But, will he be willing to give up his easy and very lucrative job at FOX, his job as Paul Harvey's replacement and all the perks that go along with "stardom" to pay service to our country? Ronald Reagan did it...

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Simply put, the base die-hard Republican support level in Missouri is higher than the die-hard Republican support level in SD/NC/etc."

That's not really true of NC. The Republicans here are die-hard. The Dems are not--15-20% of them go Republican on a regular basis (they're Dixiecrats, so to speak). But there are more Democrats than in MO. Instead of outnumbering Republicans by one or two, they outnumber them by 7 or 8 points.

Anonymous said...

Missourians have been shown the destructive effects of democrats. Take a ride down Page Avenue, drive by the auto plant, heck, take a flight out of lambert. The devastating effects of democrat rule abound in STL. Ask Chevy Chase before venturing over to the democrat waste land known as the East Side though.

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