We have our most shocking poll results of the week for you today: President Obama can write Mississippi off his target list.
When we last took a look at his re-election effort in Mississippi back in March, Obama was actually trailing a few of his potential opponents by single-digit margins. That is no longer the case. All but one of the six Republicans tested against him in the latest survey beat Obama by larger spreads than John McCain’s 13-point win three years ago.
Mitt Romney, as nearly everywhere, tops the president by the largest amount, 18 points (54-36), up 12 points from a six-point lead in March. Rick Perry and Herman Cain each lead by 17 (55-38 and 54-37, respectively); neither was tested eight months ago. Newt Gingrich leads by 16 (54-38), up 10 points from March. Ron Paul is up 15 (52-37), and Michele Bachmann by 12 (52-40); neither was polled last time.
Obama’s approval rating has declined 11 points from 42-54 in March to 36-59 now. Of the states we've measured him in this year, only four see the president worse (Nebraska, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming)—all much whiter states. Only 16% of white Mississippi voters approve of Obama’s performance, with 80% disapproving. That figure has actually not changed from March. What makes this state unique is that its large share of black voters have soured a little on the president, from 93-5 to 80-14.
Unlike in other states, black voters in Mississippi who disapprove are not rallying behind the president when it comes time to vote. Still roughly 80% of them vote for him, but that is down from over 90% in the previous poll and 98% in 2008. Cain gets the largest share of the black vote, at 15%, but the others still pull 12-14%.
The Republicans lead by 23 to 44 points with independents, and take 12-13% of the Democratic vote. One caveat is that this poll was taken among likely voters in Tuesday's election. They did soundly defeat Initiative 26, but the projected electorate in our poll was slightly whiter and more Republican than in 2008 and significantly more than in March. Much of the movement can be attributed to turnout and party identification shifts. Obama very well may have a little more weakness with African Americans here next year than in 2008, and turnout may be a little whiter and more Republican.
Regardless, this is not a state any Democrat of any race can expect to win at the presidential level anytime soon.
Full results here