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Election 2008: Mississippi Senate Special
Wicker Jumps to 11-Point Lead in Mississippi

Republican Roger Wicker, appointed to the Senate last year when Trent Lott resigned, has opened an 11-point lead over Democratic challenger Ronnie Musgrove in Mississippi.

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of the state finds Wicker leading his opponent 54% to 43% in the state's special Senate race.

At the end of September, Wicker slipped to a two-point advantage over Musgrove. The race was also tight in May and June, but Wicker had begun pulling away over the summer. In August he led 47% to 42%.

Mississippi is in the unusual position of having two U.S. Senate races this year due to Lott’s retirement. In December, Governor Haley Barbour named Wicker to Lott’s seat until a special election could be held. In the other Mississippi Senate race, longtime Republican incumbent Thad Cochran enjoys a sizable lead.

Wicker has opened a huge 66% to 19% lead among unaffiliated voters in Mississippi, compared to the 52% to 40% lead he held in September. While the Republican still holds a double-digit lead among men in the state, women have shifted from supporting Musgrove to Wicker's column. Last month, women supported the challenger 54% to 42%; the latest poll show women favoring Wicker 50% to 47%. White voters support Wicker by a 78% to 18% margin, while black voters favor Musgrove, 87% to 12%.

Wicker, a congressman for 12 years, is viewed favorably by 59% of the state’s voters, unfavorably by 36%. Musgrove, a former governor, has 47% favorables and 50% unfavorables. While Wicker’s ratings are identical to the last poll’s, Musgrove’s have grown slightly more negative.

Barbour,a Republican, receives good or excellent ratings from 48% of Mississippi voters, down from 50% last month. His job performance earns poor ratings from 20% of voters.

Rasmussen also released the latest numbers on the presidential race in Mississippi, which found John McCain leading Barack Obama by eight percentage points.

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This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports October 27, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Mississippi Trends: Wicker vs. Musgrove

Date

Wicker

Musgrove

10/27/2008

54%

43%

49%

47%

47%

42%

48%

42%

6/24/2008

48%

47%

46%

47%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Mississippi

 

Wicker

Musgrove

Very Favorable

29%

25%

Somewhat Favorable

30%

22%

Somewhat Unfavorable

17%

18%

Very Unfavorable

19%

32%

Not Sure

4%

4%


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

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ 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.