Polls

Obama down in MS but by narrower margins than ‘08

| Tom Jensen

Header-poll-results
Obama_vs_gop_ms_0311 Raleigh, N.C. –
Mississippi would probably not top most people’s list of states where President Obama has improved since 2008.  But except against Mike Huckabee, the president trails his potential 2012 opponents in the state by a smaller margin than he lost to John McCain (13 points)—even Governor Haley Barbour performs worse than McCain.

With a 54-40 lead over Obama, Huckabee essentially matches McCain’s victory margin.  But Barbour leads only 51-41, Newt Gingrich 48-42, Mitt Romney 46-40, and Sarah Palin 48-44.  Obama more or less locks up all the 42% who approve of his job performance, but only Huckabee and, to a lesser extent, Barbour capture all the 54% who disapprove.  A lot of that is because most of these candidates are unpopular even in this deeply red state.

52% approve of Barbour’s job performance, and 39% disapprove, putting him barely in the top third of the 42 governors on which PPP has polled in the last year.  But only a third of voters want him to make a run at the White House, with almost a majority (48%) against it.  Most of that opposition comes from Democrats.  Republicans are for his candidacy by a 2:1 margin, and independents are split down the middle.

Mississippi is the only state in which PPP has found Gingrich with a positive favorability margin, albeit barely (42-38).  Huckabee is by far the best liked, with a +22 net favorability (51-29), but as everywhere else, Palin is disliked, though not nearly as much as some places (42-50).  Romney also is in the red (34-41) mostly because he is by far the least liked by Republicans (barely in the positive, 43-35, while 64-73% like the others, and 83% approve of Barbour’s performance) and even independents, with whom he normally is favored (35-52, far worse than even Palin and Gingrich, who are seen just slightly negatively by unaffiliated voters).  Romney is viewed almost as well by Democrats as Huckabee is, though (25-41 versus Huckabee’s 29-42).

“Mississippi voters like Haley Barbour but they don’t think he should run for President and he wouldn’t be as strong a general election candidate as Mike Huckabee even in his own home state,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.

PPP surveyed 817 Mississippi voters from March 24th to 27th.  The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.4%.  Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.

Topline results are below.  Full results, including crosstabs, can be found here.

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of President
Barack Obama’s job performance?
Approve …………………………………………………. 42%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 54%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 3%

Q2 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of Newt Gingrich?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 42%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 38%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 21%

Q3 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of Mike Huckabee?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 51%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 29%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 21%

Q4 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of Sarah Palin?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 42%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 50%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 8%

Q5 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of Mitt Romney?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 34%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 41%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 25%

Q6 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Haley Barbour’s job performance?
Approve …………………………………………………. 52%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 39%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 9%

Q7 If the candidates for President next year were
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican
Newt Gingrich, who would you vote for?
Barack Obama………………………………………… 42%
Newt Gingrich …………………………………………. 48%
Undecided………………………………………………. 10%

Q8 If the candidates for President next year were
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike
Huckabee, who would you vote for?
Barack Obama………………………………………… 40%
Mike Huckabee ……………………………………….. 54%
Undecided………………………………………………. 6%

Q9 If the candidates for President next year were
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican
Sarah Palin, who would you vote for?
Barack Obama………………………………………… 44%
Sarah Palin …………………………………………….. 48%
Undecided………………………………………………. 8%

Q10 If the candidates for President next year were
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt
Romney, who would you vote for?
Barack Obama………………………………………… 40%
Mitt Romney……………………………………………. 46%
Undecided………………………………………………. 13%

Q11 If the candidates for President next year were
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican
Haley Barbour, who would you vote for?
Barack Obama………………………………………… 41%
Haley Barbour…………………………………………. 51%
Undecided………………………………………………. 7%

Q12 Do you want Haley Barbour to run for President
next year?
Yes………………………………………………………… 33%
No …………………………………………………………. 48%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 19%

Q13 Who did you vote for President in 2008?
John McCain…………………………………………… 54%
Barack Obama………………………………………… 40%
Someone Else/Don’t Remember………………… 7%

Q14 Would you describe yourself as very liberal,
somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat
conservative, or very conservative?
Very liberal ……………………………………………… 11%
Somewhat liberal …………………………………….. 11%
Moderate………………………………………………… 28%
Somewhat conservative……………………………. 24%
Very conservative ……………………………………. 26%

Q15 If you are a woman, press 1. If a man, press 2.
Woman ………………………………………………….. 56%
Man……………………………………………………….. 44%

Q16 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a
Republican, press 2. If you are an independent
or identify with another party, press 3.
Democrat ……………………………………………….. 40%
Republican……………………………………………… 40%
Independent/Other…………………………………… 20%

Q17 If you are white, press 1. If African-American,
press 2. If other, press 3.
White …………………………………………………….. 63%
African-American …………………………………….. 33%
Other……………………………………………………… 4%

Q18 If you are 18 to 29 years old, press 1. If 30 to
45, press 2. If 46 to 65, press 3. If you are
older than 65, press 4.
18 to 29………………………………………………….. 12%
30 to 45………………………………………………….. 26%
46 to 65………………………………………………….. 43%
Older than 65………………………………………….. 19%

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