Missouri Governor Jay Nixon continues to look like an overwhelming favorite for reelection. He leads announced opponents Bill Randles and Dave Spence by margins of 18 and 20 points at 47-29 and 47-27 respectively. And he also has a 48-30 advantage over prospective opponent Tom Schweich.
Nixon has two big things going for him. The first is his own crossover appeal. Nixon's overall approval rating of 44% with 31% of voters disapproving of him doesn't sound that impressive on the surface. But that's just because he has lower than normal numbers with his party base, as only 54% of Democrats approve of him to 25% who disapprove. But he more than makes up for that with a solid +15 approval spread with independents (44/29) and because he almost breaks even with Republicans at 34% approving and 40% disapproving of him. It's very rare for a Governor to be that strong across party lines.
The other reason Nixon's doing well is that he simply doesn't have very strong opposition. Randles has 25% name recognition and Spence is known to only 21% of voters. Even Schweich, generally thought of as someone who would be a stronger and better known candidate, has just 28% name recognition. Nixon would be a formidable foe for Republicans under any circumstances, but the lack of a strong GOP candidate make the road even tougher.
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