MO: Romney Nominally Atop Obama; Incumbent McCaskill in Trouble, GOP Take-away Possible; Incumbent Nixon Strong for Re-Election

SurveyUSA Operations - 08/12/12 11:30 PM

In an election today 08/12/12 for President, Mitt Romney has a statistically insignificant advantage over Barack Obama, 45% to 44%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KSDK-TV in St Louis, KSHB-TV in Kansas City, and KSPR-TV and KYTV-TV in Springfield. Missouri voters split their ticket: the Democratic incumbent leads in the race for Governor and the Republican challenger leads in the nationally significant race for U.S. Senator.

In the race for President: Romney leads by 14 among white voters, which overcomes Obama’s 10:1 advantage among black voters. Romney holds 88% of Republican votes, Obama holds 85% of Democratic votes. Independents split. Moderates break 2:1 for Obama, which keeps the contest close. Romney leads 5:3 among Evangelical voters and 3:1 among Missouri’s pro-life voters. Romney leads 2:1 in Southwest MO and by 16 points in Southeast MO. Obama is bolstered by his showing in greater St. Louis, where he leads by 16. In 2008, John McCain carried Missouri by 1 tenth of 1 percentage point. In 2012, the state’s 10 electoral votes are considered by some to be Romney’s for the taking, but the results of this survey, 12 weeks to Election Day, suggest a tight fight.

In the nationally watched race for U.S. Senator, which could help determine whether Republicans control the Senate, conservative Republican challenger Todd Akin is 11 points atop incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, 51% to 40%. Akin leads 7:1 among Tea party members. McCaskill holds 80% of the Democratic base, compared to Akin, who holds 91% of the Republican base. Independents favor the Republican by 16 points. Akin leads materially among the less educated; McCaskill ties Akin among college graduates. Akin leads among rich and poor voters. Akin, who is a U.S. Congressman from suburban St. Louis, manages to come within 5 points of McCaskill in the Democratic stronghold of greater St. Louis. Elsewhere in the state, the Republican leads. McCaskill has a 10-point advantage among the youngest voters, but Akin leads among voters age 35+.

In the contest for Governor of Missouri, incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon leads Republican challenger Dave Spence 51% to 37%. Nixon leads 5:3 among Independents and 3:1 among Moderates. As a sign of Nixon’s appeal: 21% of those who vote for the Republican Romney cross over and vote for the Democrat Nixon; 24% of those who vote for the Republican Akin for US Senate cross over and vote for the Democrat Nixon. Nixon leads narrowly among white voters, and leads overwhelmingly among black voters. Spence draws even with Nixon in Southwest MO, but in all other regions of the state, Nixon leads. In 2008, Nixon won with 58% of the vote.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 720 adults from the state of Missouri 08/09/12 through 08/12/12. Of the adults, 654 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 585 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/06/12 general election. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (76% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (24% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, laptop or other electronic device. 43% of the interviews for this survey were completed before Mitt Romney announced that Paul Ryan would be his running mate. 57% of the interviews for this survey were completed after the Ryan announcement. The results of this survey should not be interpreted as a reaction to the Ryan announcement. All interviews were conducted after the 08/07/12 Missouri primary.

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