Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mixed News for Barbour

Haley Barbour's a popular Governor...but Mississippi voters don't want him to run for President and Mike Huckabee fares better than him against Barack Obama on his home turf.

52% of voters in the state approve of the job Barbour's doing to 39% who disapprove. Republicans are pretty universal in their happiness with his work (83%), he's got a majority of independents behind him (53/42), and he has a decent amount of crossover approval from Democrats (19%). There's a massive racial divide in Barbour's approval numbers with 72% of whites but only 14% of African Americans approving of him. Barbour is more popular with whites than any current Governor in the country that we've polled on.

For all of that though Mississippi voters aren't terribly enthused about the possibility of a Barbour White House bid. Only 33% want him to run for President, compared to 48% who express opposition to a candidacy and 19% who express no opinion. 54% of GOP voters want Barbour to go for it, but Democrats (76%) are more unified in their desire for Barbour not to run and independents split pretty evenly.

Regardless of who the Republican nominee for President is next year it appears the state will remain in the GOP column. Barack Obama is not popular, with only 42% of voters approving of him to 54% who disapprove. Although he's in good standing with blacks at 93% approval, just 16% of whites think he's doing a good job. Obama trails all of the Republicans we tested against him- he trails Sarah Palin by 4 points at 48-44, Newt Gingrich by 6 points at 48-42, Mitt Romney by 6 points at 46-40, and Barbour by 10 points at 51-41.

Huckabee does the best, leading Obama 54-40. Huckabee and Barbour post nearly identical numbers against Obama among Democratic and Republican voters, but with independents Huckabee leads the President by 24 while Barbour has only an 11 point advantage.

There are a couple of interesting things within the favorability numbers for the Republican candidates. The first is that even though she leads Obama, Palin comes down at 42% of voters with a positive opinion of her to 50% with a negative one. That makes 28 states out of 28 where PPP has polled on her that Palin's in the red. Also interesting is that Romney's favorability rating with Republican voters is just a paltry 43%. That portends trouble for him in the South and in states where the Republican electorate is particularly conservative- it's not just that these folks like Barbour, Huckabee, and Gingrich better, it's that they don't really like Romney at all.

At any rate even if next year's contest proves to be a landslide of massive proportions for Obama it still doesn't look like he has a very good chance of adding Mississippi to his column.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Obama has a 16 percent approval rating amongst whites, but would all of such people vote for him? Or is there some small sub group that likes him but won't vote for him? I guess that is possible, but if you approve of him in Mississippi, why aren't you voting for him? And could it go higher as the Republican candidates become more visible but less liked?

On the same note, his approval amongst blacks is 93 percent, but I have to think that he wouldn't do that much differently than he did in 2008, when he secured 98 percent of that group's votes.

I could go on, but the numbers suggest that he hasn't moved much at all in two years. Depending on how adventurous he wants to be, he could make a play for the state, if only because it's so damn cheap, has a few potentially winnable House seats, and a huge long shot Senate contest.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi numbers prove two bad things: racism and bigotry.

Anonymous said...

Brian- There is no play to be made in Mississippi for Obama. None whatsoever. The seat Gene Taylor lost to Palazzo is gone for the forseeable future, as is the seat Travis Childers lost to Nunnelee. Gregg Harper has nothing to worry about. The only bright spot for the Democrats in MS is Bennie Thompson, who represents the delta and has that job for as long as he wants it.

Anonymous said...

To Brian J:

In Mississippi there's still a small Bradley effect.

If you look at 2008 pre-election polls from Mississippi, you'll see that 20% of Whites said that they would choose Obama over McCain.


In the Exit Poll, only 11% of Whites voted for Obama.


This was compensated by the fact that more African-Americans voted for Obama than what the pre-election polls predicted.

For example: Polls before the election predicted that Obama would win only 80-85% of Blacks, but the Exit Poll said that 98% of Blacks voted for Obama.

Therefore, the overall percentage for Obama (43%) was very similar to the pre-election polls.

John said...

What about the primary numbers? Will they be released tonight/tomorrow?

Anonymous said...


I would never say never. It would certainly be an uphill battle, requiring a lot of time and money, but if someone like Palin is the nominee, pretty much everything is up for grabs. Someone as toxic as her gives the Democrats the opportunity to turn out every last voter to get them over the hump. A victory, should one occur in that situation, wouldn't be large, but it'd be a victory nonetheless.

Bob said...

Interesting. Looks like that high approval rating reported by Gallup isn't really anything at all. I was kind of skeptical of it from the beginning, but this proves it. Thanks PPP for finally polling this race.

Brian J: The democrats would be dumb to try and make a play for Mississippi. It'd be near impossible to win it.

Donald Trump said...

These numbers are proof of one thing: Mississippi is a shithole.

16% approval rating among white people? That just creeps me out.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"What about the primary numbers? Will they be released tonight/tomorrow?"

That's usually one of the last things we release, if not the last. Probably Friday or next Monday.

Kevin said...

He could win against Palin...but probably not.

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