More Polling Pegs the Musgrove-Wicker Race As Very Tight
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:12:39 AM EDT
Here's Rasmussen Reports in a release from last week that I haven't had the chance of writing up until now:
Mississippi's appointed U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R) finds himself in a very tight election battle to win the job on his own. University of Virginia's Larry Sabato has noted that this will be a "real political battle" which is "a rarity in a state that's usually red as red can be."
The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the race finds a pure toss-up--former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) attracts 47% of the vote while Wicker earns 46%.
Musgove leads by ten points among women but trails by eight among men. The Democratic challenger leads among voters under 50 while the GOP incumbent leads among those who have passed the half-century mark. Musgove is supported by 81% of Democrats, Wicker by 76% of Republicans, and Wicker holds a very modest 44% to 40% lead among the state's unaffiliated voters.
I'd love to see the methodology of this poll, specifically whether the party affiliations of Ronnie Musgrove and Roger Wicker were mentioned in the question or not. Because this is a special Senate election rather than a normal general election (it is being held to fill the remaining term of Trent Lott), the ballot will be a nonpartisan one, with only the candidate's names and not their party affiliation listed on the ballot. Indeed we've already seen the polling on this race fluctuate with the different way the question is asked. For now, though, with Musgrove consistently polling near or even above Wicker, it's pretty clear however you slice it that this is a very competitive race.