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