Mississippi Republicans want Haley Barbour to be their nominee for President next year, and he's doing far better in his home state than most of the other Republicans looking at the race are doing in theirs. 37% say Barbour is their first choice, followed by 19% for Mike Huckabee, 10% for Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, 6% for Mitt Romney, 5% for Michele Bachmann, 3% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Ron Paul.
The only Republican we've found doing better in their home state so far is Romney, who 47% of Massachusetts GOP voters want as their nominee. Also matching Barbour's 37% was John Thune in South Dakota before he decided not to run. After that it's Paul Ryan at 30% in Wisconsin, Tim Pawlenty at 24% in Minnesota, Jim DeMint at 24% in South Carolina, Sarah Palin at 15% in Alaska, Gary Johnson at 13% in New Mexico, Rick Santorum at 11% in Pennsylvania, and Rick Perry at 9% in Texas. So on the curve Mississippi Republicans, who give Barbour an 85% approval rating, are pretty excited about their home state candidate.
Should Barbour end up not running or not making it all the way to the Mississippi primary Huckabee is the clear favorite in the state. In a Barbour less field he gets 35% to 20% for Palin, 18% for Gingrich, 8% for Romney, 5% for Bachmann, 4% for Paul, and 3% for Pawlenty.
We asked voters on this poll whether they think interracial marriage should be legal or illegal- 46% of Mississippi Republicans said it should be illegal to just 40% who think it should be legal. For the most part there aren't any huge divides in how voters view the candidates or who they support for the nomination based on their attitudes about interracial marriage but there are a few exceptions.
Palin's net favorability with folks who think interracial marriage should be illegal (+55 at 74/19) is 17 points higher than it is with folks who think interracial marriage should be legal (+38 at 64/26.) Meanwhile Romney's favorability numbers see the opposite trend. He's at +23 (53/30) with voters who think interracial marriage should be legal but 19 points worse at +4 (44/40) with those who think it should be illegal. Tells you something about the kinds of folks who like each of those candidates.
Lest there was any doubt Phil Bryant is the overwhelming favorite to be the GOP nominee for Governor. 63% of voters say they'd vote for him if the primary was today to 14% for Dave Dennis, 2% for Hudson Holliday, 1% for James Broadwater, and 0% for Ron Williams. Perhaps Broadwater needs Borat to come back to the state and go door to door telling voters about his, um, attributes.
72% of Republicans think that Roger Wicker is ideologically 'about right' to only 9% who think he's too liberal. Nevertheless in a hypothetical primary contest between him and a generic 'more conservative' alternative he leads by only a 40-39 margin. It just goes to show once again that no matter how conservative you are, for the Republican base it's almost impossible to be conservative enough. Still it's hard to imagine taking out Wicker becoming much of a Tea Party priority.
Full results here