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Missouri Governor: Nixon (D) Lead Continues to Grow

Longtime Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon commands a sizable -- and growing -- lead over either of his likely Republican opponents in Missouri's gubernatorial race.

With the Show-Me State's primaries still nearly two months away, Rep. Kenny Hulshof and State Treasurer Sarah Steelman remain the leading contenders for the Republican nomination, but Nixon holds nearly identical leads over both of them.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey reveals that Missouri voters favor Nixon 54% to 34% over Hulshof. Three percent (3%) support some other candidate and 8% undecided. Nixon leads Steelman 56% to 34% in the same survey, again with 3% looking for another candidate and 7% not sure.

The four-term attorney general first topped 50% voter support in last month's Rasmussen Reports survey. Hulshof and Steelman tallied 35% each at that time.

Nixon, who has no major challengers for the Democratic nomination, clearly is starting to put some distance between himself and his two chief GOP opponents. The challenge for Republicans will be how to regain that ground after choosing among their five potential gubernatorial nominees in the Aug.5 primary.

Nixon continues to lead both GOP contenders by more than 20 percentage points among women voters and only slightly less among men. Those who identified themselves as Republicans seem to give an edge to Hulshof, with 73% backing him versus 17% for Nixon. When the match-up pits Steelman against Nixon, 64% of Republicans support her as opposed to 24% for the Democrat.

Among all voters, however, Steelman's favorables are marginally higher than Hulshof's. Forty-eight percent (48%) have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of her, with 36% at least somewhat unfavorable. For Hulshof, his favorables are 42% versus 38% unfavorable.

Nixon fares substantially better, with 64% of voters ranking him at least somewhat favorably as opposed to 27% unfavorable.

Voter approval of Republican Gov. Matt Blunt, who in a surprise announcement in January chose not to seek re-election, continues to fall. Only 33% rate his job performance good or excellent, down nine points over the past two months. The same percentage of Missouri voters (33%) say he is doing a poorjob, the second month in a row for that finding.

Rasmussen Markets currently gives Nixon a % chance of winning the gubernatorial contest.

While the race for Governor is leaning heavily in the Democratic direction, the campaign between Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain in Missouri looks to be very competitive.

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Missouri Likely Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Average

RR Mkts

In Trade

2004 Results

Jay Nixon (D)




Kenny Hulshof (R)




This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 3, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology

Favorable Ratings for Gubernatorial Candidates in Missouri




Very Favorable



Somewhat Favorable



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About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdgeâ„¢ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.