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Election 2008: Mississippi Senate
Mississippi Senate: Incumbent Cochran Expands Lead

Long-time Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran (R) has expanded his lead over former state legislator Erik Fleming in his bid for re-election. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found Cochran leads Fleming 59% to 32%.

Last month, Cochran led Fleming 58% to 35% in the first Rasmussen poll of the race. Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978. Fleming ran against retired senator Trent Lott in 2006. His new Senate colleague, Roger Wicker, is in a more competitive race.

Cochran has very strong support from male voters, leading 70% to 25%. The race is closer, though not close, among female voters, where Cochran leads 50% to 37%. Cochran has support from 91% of Mississippi Republicans, 23% of Democrats and 72% of unaffiliated voters. Fleming is backed by just 63% of Democrats, 5% of Republicans, and 20% of unaffiliated voters.

Opinions of Cochran have become more positive over the past month. The incumbent is viewed favorably by 69%, up four percentage points from last month, and unfavorably by 24%, which has remain unchanged. Fleming’s numbers are 46% favorably, 36% unfavorable. The Democrat’s ratings have also improved since our last poll, when more voters viewed him unfavorably (42%) than favorably (37%).

As a Republican incumbent with a safe lead, Cochran is a bit of a rarity in the 2008 elections. Republican seats in Virginia, Alaska, New HampshireNew Mexico, Colorado, Oregon,MinnesotaKentucky, and Maine are all potentially vulnerable.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour earns good or excellent ratings from 53% of voters. Just 19% of voters say he is doing a poor job as governor.

The Presidential race between John McCain and Barack Obama in Mississippi is much closer.

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This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 24, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

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Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Mississippi




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

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