Voters in Missouri are not real happy with their choices for President. They don't like Barack Obama. But they don't, as evidenced by the Republican primary results in the state, like Mitt Romney either. That has the state looking closely contested again for this fall just as it was in 2008.
Obama has a statistically insignificant 45-44 advantage on Romney in Missouri, a result basically identical to our late January poll of the state that found the two candidates knotted at 45%. Obama has just a 44% approval rating in the state, with 52% of voters disapproving of him. But Romney's even less popular with only 38% of voters rating him favorably to 50% with a negative opinion. Independent voters strongly dislike both candidates with Obama's approval among them falling at 41/53 and Romney's favorability at 36/46.
Missouri's not likely to be one of the more consequential states in the Presidential election this year. If Obama somehow takes it it will just be the cherry on top of an electoral college landslide, while a Romney win won't get him anywhere close to 270 electoral votes. But the tightness does speak to the landscape in the state being much different than 2010 when Democrats were crushed at the polls and to Romney's weakness with Republicans there bleeding through to the general election.
Roy Blunt and John Ashcroft would both actually hurt Romney a little bit. Blunt is one of the most unpopular Senators in the country with only 32% of voters approving of him to 46% who disapprove. Missouri is the only state in our polling where both Senators have a net approval of -10 or worse. Obama would lead Romney 46-43 with Blunt on the ticket. Ashcroft actually has decent favorability numbers with 43% of voters giving him good marks to 36% with a negative opinion. But if he was Romney's VP choice Obama's lead would expand to 47-43.
Ultimately it seems unlikely Obama will be able to win states like Missouri where he has a 44% approval rating, but for now the lack of enthusiasm for Romney is helping him keep it closely matched.
Full results here