Gubernatorial Poll Results

Democratic Governor Ronnie Musgrove is trailing Republican challenger Haley Barbour in his bid for re-election.

Statewide, 47% of voters support Barbour, while 43% back Musgrove, 1% are for other candidates, and 9% remain undecided.

Musgrove leads in Northern Mississippi (48%-40%) and in the Delta (47%-42%), while Barbour is ahead in Eastern Mississippi (51%-40%), Jackson/Southwest (50%-41%) and Southern Mississippi (49%-40).

The usual gender and racial gaps in Mississippi state elections are present, with men supporting Barbour (51%-41%) and women narrowly backing Musgrove (45%-43%). African-American voters are strongly for Musgrove (85%-6%), while whites favor Barbour by a wide margin (65%-24%).

Barbour is also more popular than Musgrove. Statewide, 42% have a favorable opinion of Barbour, compared to 33% who have a favorable view of Musgrove.

Musgrove's negatives (29%) are also significantly higher than Barbour's (19%). Musgrove appears to face an uphill battle.

In most gubernatorial elections, "undecided" voters break more strongly in favor of challengers rather than incumbents.

Musgrove did trail in the polls in 1999 and came back to win by a very narrow margin. However, in 1999 the majority of "undecided voters" were African-American and high turn-out in the black community helped Musgrove pull out the win.

This year, the remaining "undecided" voters are more white than black by a 2-to-1 margin (67% white/33% black). High African-American voter turn-out alone will not likely save Musgrove this time. He will also have to significantly increase his share of the white vote - which as an incumbent in 2003 will be a tougher task to accomplish.